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The Value and Viability of the 
Jesuit Brother's Vocation 

An American Perspective 


WINTER 2008 


The Seminar is composed of a number of Jesuits appointed from their provinces in the United 

It concerns itself with topics pertaining to the spiritual doctrine and practice of Jesuits, 
especially United States Jesuits, and communicates the results to the members of the provinces 
through its publication, Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits. This is done in the spirit of 
Vatican II's recommendation that religious institutes recapture the original inspiration of their 
founders and adapt it to the circumstances of modern times. The Seminar welcomes reactions or 
comments in regard to the material that it publishes. 

The Seminar focuses its direct attention on the life and work of the Jesuits of the Unit- 
ed States. The issues treatecl may be common also to Jesuits of other regions, to other priests, re- 
ligious, and laity, to both men and women. Hence, the journal, while meant especially for Ameri- 
can Jesuits, is not exclusively for them. Others who may find it helpful are cordially welcome to 
make use of it. 


R. Bentley Anderson, S.J., teaches history at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo. (2008) 

Richard A. Blake, S. J., is chairman of the Seminar and editor of Studies; he teaches film studies 

at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Mass. (2002) 
James T. Bretzke, S.J., teaches theology at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, 

Boston, Mass. (2006) 
Gerald T. Cobb, S.J., teaches English at Seattle University, Seattle, Wash. (2007) 
Patrick J. Howell, S.J., is rector of the Jesuit Community and Vice-President for Mission and 

Ministry at at Seattle University, Seattle, Wash. (2006) 
Mark S. Massa, S.J., teaches theology and is director of the American Catholic Studies Program 

at Fordham University, Bronx, N. Y. (2006) 
Thomas Massaro, S.J., teaches theology at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Bos- 
ton, Mass. (2006) 
Michael C. McCarthy, S.J, teaches theology and classics at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, 

Cal. (2008) 
Thomas J. Scirghi, S.J., teaches liturgy at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, Berkeley, 

Cal. (2007) 
Thomas Worcester, S.J., teaches history at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass. 

Michael A. Zampelli, S.J., teaches theater and dance at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Cal. 


The opinions expressed in Studies are those of the individual authors thereof. Parentheses des- 
ignate year of entry as a Seminar member. 

Copyright © 2008 and published by the Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality 

Business Office 

Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 

3601 Lindell Blvd., 

St. Louis, MO 63108 

Tel. 314-633-4622 ;Fax 314-633-4623 


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Tel. 617-552-0860; Fax 617-552-0925 


The Value and Viability of the 
Jesuit Brother's Vocation 

An American Perspective 

William Rehg, S.J. 


40/4 • WINTER 2008 

the first word . . . 

v^ounting one's blessings at the end of the year should include not living in 
Cleveland. No, this isn't a set up for a recycled "mistake on the lake" joke, 
nor a reference to the once incendiary nature of the Cuyahoga River. Actu- 
ally, the one time I visited the city, some twenty years ago, it was undergoing 
an impressive downtown redevelopment program, and the brethren tell me 
that John Carroll University ranks among the most beautiful Jesuit campuses 
in the country. Fve got nothing against Cleveland. I'll expand the blessing to 
include not living in Cincinnati or Columbus or Youngstown or Ashtabula, or 
any other place in Ohio. Now let's be more positive. I'm adding my Massa- 
chusetts address as another reason for year's end gratitude. 

My reasoning should not be construed as East Coast chauvinism, much 
less an endorsement of the eternal New England winter. It's all politics, pure 
and simple. During an endless national campaign, living in a highly contest- 
ed state like Ohio would push anyone close to the brink. In a safe state like 
Massachusetts, where a Labrador retriever could be elected dog catcher on the 
Democratic ticket, canvassers and campaign committees, pollsters and pun- 
dits ignore us. We're not worth their time and money. We have no relentless 
barrage of automated phone calls during dinner time, no well scrubbed col- 
lege students with clipboards ringing our doorbells during the climactic scene 
of N.C.I.S., and no mailboxes so stuffed with handbills that the seasonal L. 
L. Bean catalogues must relocate to a safe haven under the door mat. In this 
media Green Zone, radio, television, and newspapers go about their normal 
business of selling us toothpaste, light beer, and gas guzzlers as though there 
were no election on the horizon. If I had to suffer what the contested elector- 
ate of Ohio endures every four years, I would have applied for transcription 
to the province of outer Samoa during the Ford administration. (Provincials, 
please note: just kidding.) 

When did political discourse become so obnoxious? Other adjectives 
suggest themselves: toxic, misleading, deceptive, nasty, or as we clergy would 
have it, simply uncharitable. The question has another side to it, of course. 
When did many of us develop a simple revulsion for what campaign rhetoric 
has become. Some years ago, when my assignment included writing week- 
ly political editorials at America, all of us on the staff lived politics: Watergate, 
the Vietnam War, Reagan Democrats, Iran's revolution, Camp David, Europe 
after the Berlin wall — you name it. As a staff we watched the presidential de- 
bates with a sense of obligation bordering on "the Easter duty" and kept a re- 
cord of points scored as though it were the Super Bowl. I remember regularly 


staying up as the "returns from outlying districts" tipped one state or anoth- 
er. It was exciting stuff, and I loved it. Now we have strategies of "wedge is- 
sues" designed to divide candidates and their constituencies. Thus the "de- 
bate" degenerates into "gotcha" games, twisting one's words and contexts 
into absurd distortions, and relentless negative ads, designed to show, assert, 
or insinuate the worst of an opponent. 

This year I skipped the debates altogether and passed over the more 
partisan columnists and political comedians that I usually enjoy in the off-sea- 
son. Was it merely terminal grumpiness? The news summaries of campaign 
events provided enough information for me to make an informed decision 
on candidates and issues. Even that Spartan diet of low-media consumption 
probably made me a better informed voter than all but a few experts in ev- 
ery election before 1960. (That was the year the election turned on Kennedy's 
sparkling Irish smile and Nixon's sweaty upper lip. It's been downhill ever 
since.) At least this year my abstinence insured that I was being neither brain- 
washed nor bludgeoned into a political decision. And it was a good prescrip- 
tion for the psychological ulcers. 

Sometimes I have the feeling that we're all living in George Orwell's 
1984, that once futuristic novel set in a timeframe of nearly 35 years ago. 
Writing in 1949, when intellectuals were starting to re-evaluate their infatua- 
tion with the Soviet Union in the light of Stalin's atrocities and the Cold War, 
Orwell commented that who controls the present, controls the past, and who 
controls the past controls the future. As I understand it, he was suggesting 
that anybody who controls present day media giants, and that would include 
the government, big business, and churches as conveyers of information, has 
the power to rewrite and reinterpret history. And once history becomes dis- 
torted and the distortion is repeated often enough, then it justifies taking dan- 
gerous roadways into the future. In the novel, Orwell's hero Winston Smith 
rewrites history to suit the aspirations of The Party. Orwell might have been 
onto something: language can be more destructive than the H-Bomb. Cam- 
paign language certainly flirts with that danger. 

Language sat at the top of Orwell's concerns for many years. In his 
wonderful essay of 1946, "Politics and the English Language" he makes the 
point that sloppy language leads to sloppy thought and sloppy thought leads 
a writer or speaker into sloppy language. Of course, political strategy often 
deliberately takes advantage of this lethal circle. Candidates prefer to obfus- 
cate the issues, rather than clarify them and risk alienating any sector of the 
electorate, including the obsessed fringes of their base. They "stay on mes- 
sage," which means repeating frothy generalities in response to any question 
rather than committing themselves to "yes," "no," or honestly but unthink- 
ably, "I don't know," or "That's too complicated for a simple answer," or "I'll 
have to work that out with my expert advisers." As a result, a question about 
the economy leads to an endorsement of the middle class, a fair tax struc- 
ture, collaboration with other countries on trade issues, and so on. What's not 


to like? Is anyone against the middle class or fairness or trade? Candidates 
learn well from the parrots. The worst blunder is making a statement that can 
be recorded and repeated out of context in a thirty-second attack ad put on 
the internet by ideological zealots. 

Orwell expresses special disdain for sloganeering, that is, clusters of 
meaningless words that masquerade as ideas. He likened them to prefabri- 
cated hen houses. What would he say about those elaborate backdrops with 
a catchphrase repeated every eighteen inches or so from one edge of the plat- 
form to the other. Not even he could figure out what these phrases mean. 
Every candidate favored "change'' this year, but for all we know they might 
have been advocating a clean pair of socks or a pocketful of coins. When he 
was Governor of New York, Mario Cuomo once made a wise comment in a 
radio interview. He said that election discourse in an age of negative cam- 
paigning could be reduced to 'The other guy's a bum; vote for me." 

Let's not let ourselves off too easily. I wonder what Orwell would say 
about today's electorate. Are we getting the kinds of campaigns we deserve? 
The issues become more intractable as our attention spans shrink and predis- 
pose candidates to offer thirty-second solutions in simple declarative bro- 
mides. Remember Jack Nicholson's outburst in the courtroom scene near the 
end of "A Few Good Men" (1992). In response to Tom Cruise's prosecutorial 
demand: "I want the truth," Nicholson's character shouts "You can't handle 
the truth." It's easier to hang a label on an opposition candidate than to try to 
handle the truth, a fact that political marketers exploit in every election. 

Are these crotchety reflections coming from an embittered conservative 
or a gloating liberal? If they serve their intended purpose, readers shouldn't 
be able to decide. I wanted them to resist being shoved into ideological cat- 
egories. I once read that stereotyping involves stuffing persons or ideas into 
a carefully designed box and then reacting to the box rather than its contents. 
That's pretty good. I've been puzzling over just how much campaign-style 
rhetoric has spilled over into other areas of discourse and led to what Walter 
Ong once called "the decay of dialogue." Using meaningless words, like lib- 
eral and conservative, progressive and traditionalist, orthodox and heterodox, 
loyal and disloyal really leech the life out of serious discussion about con- 
tentious issues in the Church and in the Society. People of belief, Christians, 
Catholics and Jesuits really agree about a lot of fundamentals, even though 
we may differ on some. Wedge issues simplify one's thought process. The 
other guy is wrong, I'm right and there's no reason to continue the discussion. 
Orwell reminds us how sloppy, inaccurate, and misleading language divides 
us. Now that the election season has passed, the frustrations of the campaign 
may help us look critically into our own discourse among the people of God. 


a few second words . . . 

Confession is good for the soul. The previous paragraphs really offer little 
by way of introduction to this issue. The compulsion to say something about 
the two-year election campaign proved overwhelming. (For my penance I'll 
watch one hour of Fox News and read three editorials in the New Republic.) 
The essay that we offer in the following pages is an important one that de- 
serves better treatment from the editor. 

In this issue of Studies Bill Rehg has provided a brief history of the 
role of the Jesuit brothers throughout the centuries as a context for a series of 
sharp insights into the meaning of religious life for all of us. For many years 
we Jesuits have thought about the intrinsic tensions between priesthood and 
our secular-looking activities, like social work, teaching or administration. By 
switching the focus of attention from priesthood to the tensions between a 
brother's work and religious commitment in a sacerdotal order, he lets us re- 
examine the fundamentals of our lives together as Jesuits from a slightly dif- 
ferent angle. 

The challenges he specifies arise for all of us. As lay people take over 
more of our "priestly" roles as catechists, parish administrators, theologians, 
and chaplains, should Jesuit priests identify themselves through their sacra- 
mental or cultic function? This question grows ever more pointed. We will 
continue to face a priest shortage and subsequent pressure to become in- 
volved in parish ministries. Are teaching and research becoming luxuries Je- 
suit priests can no longer afford, or are they integral parts of our Jesuit min- 
istry precisely as priests? Furthermore as lay people attend our schools of 
theology with the goal of assuming ministries in the Church, in our formation 
do we inadvertently stress the sacramental ministry as the one function that 
gives us an identity separate from our lay companions? In our training and 
thinking, should we emphasize differentiation or commonality, and how will 
this perception influence our fostering of vocations and formation goals? 

YouTl find the essay enjoyable to read and thoughtful. Bill does not of- 
fer us easy solutions, but he does provide a great deal of material for our re- 
flection and prayer. 

Richard A. Blake, S.J. 




I. Introduction 2 

II. The Jesuit Brother in the Old Society 5 

III. From Restoration to Mid-Twentieth Century 8 

IV. The Brother before Vatican II: Three Examples 15 

V The Jesuit Brother at the Crossroads 20 

VI. The Late Twentieth Century 23 

VII. Why Jesuit Brothers Today? 26 

Letter to the Editor 39 


For Brother Thomas J. Naughton, S.J. 
1949 - 2000 

William Rehg, S.J., entered the Missouri Province in 1976, and in 1988 
his request to change grade to the status of brother was approved. Af- 
ter completing his doctorate at Northwestern University, since 1992 he 
has taught philosophy at Saint Louis University, where he wrote two 
monographs, Insight and Solidarity: The Discourse Ethics of Jiirgen 
Habermas (1994) and Cogent Science in Context: The Science Wars, 
Argumentation Theory, and Habermas (2009), and translated Haber- 
mas s Between Facts and Norms (1996). As a member of the Jesuit 
Seminar on Spirituality, he was author of an issue of Studies entitled 
"Christian Mindfulness " (34, no. 3; May 2002). 


The Value and Viability of the 
Jesuit Brother's Vocation 

An American Perspective 

In the past, when American Jesuits gathered in large commu- 
nities, often in rural settings, brothers dedicated themselves to 
the maintenance of the institutions through their skilled labor. 
Now, as they assume roles once reserved to priests, their role 
in the apostolate raises questions not only about their place as 
coadjutors in an order of priests but about the nature of the 
priestly ministry of the Society itself 

The extinction of this grade of Brothers would be a great loss, a muti- 
lation with grave consequences for the body of the Society and for its 

— Pedro Arrupe, S.J 

Note: This essay is a heavily revised version of a chapter for a collection of essays on re- 
ligious brothers in America, to be published by the Religious Brothers Conference, and I 
thank them for giving me permission to use material from that chapter. I thank John Pad- 
berg, S.J., David Miros, John Fava, S.J., Eleonore Stump, Kevin Burke, S.J., Charles Jack- 
son, S.J., Raymond Schroth, S.J., and members of the Studies Seminar for their willing- 
ness to read earlier drafts of this essay and comment on it; David Miros for his assistance 
at the Midwest Jesuit Archives in St. Louis; Joan Gaulen of the New Orleans Province 
Archives; Louis Mauro, S.J., for his recollections of the beginning of the National Jesuit 
Brothers' Committee (NJBC); Philip Pick, S.J., and Raymond Reis, S.J., for their recollec- 
tions of Brother Rueppel; and John Fava, S.J. for lending me the NJBC file. Finally, an e- 
mail exchange with Thomas Kretz, S.J., and conversations with Thomas Buckley, S.J., and 
James Boyton, S.J., also stimulated my thoughts. 

William R. Rehg, S.J. 

I. Introduction 

A Jesuit brother — how's that different from a priest?" "What 
made you want to be a brother?" I suspect that such queries 
are familiar to most Jesuit brothers in the United States. The 
religious brother's vocation in general remains something of a mys- 
tery, even to most Catholics. In addition to this air of mystery, the Jesuit 
brother's vocation is more or less invisible, at least in the United States. 
How many Catholics even know that the Society of Jesus admits broth- 
ers? I certainly did not when I applied to the Society in 1976. At the 
time, that would not be surprising for a Catholic layman unschooled in 
Jesuit education. Though significant changes in the brother's vocation 
were afoot, most Jesuit brothers in those days still worked in the vari- 
ous background support roles that had once been associated with the 
"hidden life" of Jesus. Today the reason for invisibility more likely lies 
in the simple dearth of Jesuit brothers. As the brothers have taken on 
more public roles, their percentage among Jesuits in the United States 
has steadily dropped, sliding to five percent by 2008. 

So one has to wonder: is the brother's vocation in the Society of 
Jesus evolving — or merely disappearing? This question arises for the 
Society as a whole. After fluctuating around 25 percent through the 
nineteenth century, the overall proportion of Jesuit brothers worldwide 
began a gradual decline around the turn of the last century, and it now 
stands at around 9 percent. But that question is both too quick and 
too large. It jumps past the considerably varied situations of brothers 
around the globe and calls for a foreknowledge that lies beyond us in 
any case. 3 Yet we can say this: the Jesuit brother's vocation will disap- 
pear if it does not present an attractive option for men considering reli- 

lr That is, 157 of 2,869 Jesuits in the United States; see "The Society in Numbers," 

News and Features, Documentation N. 88 (April 2008): 5. 

2 That is, 1,758 out of 18,815 Jesuits worldwide ("Society in Numbers," 14). In 
1900, there were 3,944 brothers out of 15,073 Jesuits worldwide (26.2 percent) (Charles J. 
Jackson, S.J., "One and the Same Vocation: The Jesuit Brother, 1957 to the Present," Stud- 
ies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 30, no. 5 [November 1998], appendix). For demographic 
figures going back to 1599, see George E. Ganss, S.J., "Toward Understanding the Jesuit 
Brothers' Vocation, Especially As Described in the Papal and Jesuit Documents," Studies 
in the Spirituality of Jesuits 13, no. 3 (May 1981): 61. 

3 For example, the "Society in Numbers" shows robust percentages of brothers in 
the Brazilian provinces in 2008: 17 percent of 224 Jesuits (BNE), 16 percent of 201 (BRC), 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 3 

gious life. Here, then, we find a more immediate, manageable question 
that concerns all Jesuits, American Jesuits in particular, and Jesuit broth- 
ers above all: how do we understand the brother's vocation, and what 
makes that vocation attractive? 

The viability of the Jesuit brother's vocation today depends on 
how we answer that question. In this essay I address the question as 
it arises for us Jesuits in the United States, against the background of 
a historical experience that began in sixteenth-century Rome, but then 
distinctively evolved in the United States over the last two centuries. 
The United States provides a particularly interesting context, where 
we find pronounced changes in the understanding of the vocation, ac- 
companied by a striking decline in numbers. Although cultural fac- 
tors beyond our control play ^ 
a large role in this decline, we 

do exercise control over how Peo P le °f diverse backgrounds, 

we present the brother's vo- talents, and education had been 

cation to applicants and nov- attracted to the newly formed 

ices. However, a positive pre- Society, and Ignatius wanted to 

sentation of the brother's make room for them. 

vocation faces special chal- ^ — 
lenges today, and we can no 

longer take its attractiveness for granted — not in a Society that under- 
stands itself as sacerdotal, and not in the wake of historical changes 
in the brothers' situation, which I describe below. In a fundamental- 
ly priestly Order, we should expect most Jesuits eventually to be or- 
dained. But then why, in today's world, do we need brothers at all? 
For men who have generously offered their lives to Christ in the Soci- 
ety, the brother's vocation will present an attractive option only if it is 
clear that brothers make a distinctive, valuable contribution precise- 
ly as brothers, which complements that of Jesuit priests. But what is 
that contribution, and why is it so important, as Father Arrupe main- 
tained? Might brothers play a crucial role precisely in the sacerdotal 
charism of the Society? 

To grasp the brothers' distinctive contribution, we must examine 
both the theory and practice of the Jesuit brother's vocation, that is, both 
the changing spirituality of the brother and the actual practice of Jesu- 
it brothers in their historical context. By "practice" I mean the kinds of 

and 28 percent of 245 (BRM), whereas the Indian assistancy (ASM), for all its vocations 
(totaling 3,999 Jesuits), fewer than 7 percent of them are brothers. 

4 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 

work open to brothers and the models of holiness they have provid- 
ed — what brothers generally do and how exemplary brothers did what 
brothers do. In fact, my own attraction to the Jesuits was heavily condi- 
tioned by an inchoate sense of what Jesuits did, seasoned by some at- 
tractive role models. I approached the vocation question with a mix of 
feelings: an attraction to serving Christ as a vowed religious, a lack of 
interest in typical priestly ministries. When I first gave the Jesuits a call 
in 1975, 1 knew they did a lot of different things, and so I could probably 
find something interesting to do. But my immediate question for the Je- 
suit I first contacted was this: are there Jesuit brothers? At the time, the 
brother's vocation attracted me precisely because of what brothers did 
not do, namely the sacramental ministries of priests. To be sure, during 
a stint with the Glenmary Missioners in Appalachia I had already no- 
ticed something attractive about the way their brothers modeled reli- 
gious life. I later encountered that same style in some Jesuit brothers: a 
lack of churchy ofhciousness, a get-your-hands-dirty earthiness (quite 
literally in the case of the brothers working in grounds keeping and 
maintenance). Perhaps, in retrospect, I was attracted to something quite 
positive, the way these brothers managed to combine religious commit- 
ment with a kind of layman's unpretentiousness. 

Bound up in these personal reactions, I believe, are questions con- 
cerning the understanding of the brother's vocation and its practice, 
both in general and in the lives of particular brothers who model re- 
ligious life. To get a better sense of where we are today, I begin by ex- 
amining two contrasting contexts: that of the brother in the pre-sup- 
pression Society (sec. 2), and that of brothers in the United States up to 
the Second Vatican Council (sees. 3 and 4). I then turn to postconciliar 
developments (sees. 5 and 6) and conclude with some tentative reflec- 
tions on how we might understand the specific character of the broth- 
er's vocation as an attractive option that places Jesuit brothers in a posi- 
tion of "complementary equality" with priests (sec. 7). To document the 
brothers' evolving situation, I allow general data on their numbers and 
work to illuminate statements about the vocation itself; descriptions of 
particular brothers then give flesh to bare statistics. Each of these ele- 
ments pertains to the attractiveness of the brother's vocation: the theo- 
retical statements of the vocation appeal to the desire to follow Christ- 
lists of occupations delineate the diverse paths by which brothers could 
live out that following; and individual examples give us a feel for the 
unique, creative ways by which brothers have enlivened those paths. 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 5 

II. The Jesuit Brother in the Old Society 

The founding document of the Society of Jesus, the Formula of the 
Institute, understood the Society as an apostolic order of priests. 
First approved by Pope Paul III in 1540, the Formula was soon 
revised and approved again in 1550 by Pope Julius III. Although the 
1550 Formula held that "all the members should be priests," it also pro- 
vided for the admission of "coadjutors," that is, co-helpers, some of 
whom would be priests ("spiritual coadjutors") and others, brothers 
or "temporal coadjutors." 4 The latter would, as Ignatius later put it in 
the General Examen, help with "necessary exterior matters." Though he 
seems to have understood such matters as normally comprising "low 
and humble services," he immediately notes that brothers "may be em- 
ployed in more important matters in accordance with the talent God 
gave them." 5 

Ignatius understood the coadjutors as one of four "grades" or 
classes in the Society. In its broadest sense, membership in the Society 
included the professed priests (with four solemn vows of poverty, chas- 
tity, obedience, and obedience to the Pope concerning missions); the co- 
adjutors (with three simple vows); the men with simple vows in train- 
ing for priesthood (i.e., scholastics); and the novices. These distinctions 
referred not so much to a status hierarchy as to a division of labor, in 
which every Jesuit was a co-helper in realizing the aims of the Society. 6 
As Father General Kolvenbach explains, "In creating priests of four or 
three vows, and coadjutors who were priests and non-priests, Ignatius 
was intent only on uniting all these men in the apostolic body of the 
Society while respecting the diversity of graces, and in integrating into 
one and the same vocation and mission the different responses to dif- 
ferent calls of the Lord." 7 People of diverse backgrounds, talents, and 

4 The Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus, in Constitutions of the Society of 
Jesus, trans, with introduction and commentary by George E. Ganss, S.J. (St. Louis: Insti- 
tute of Jesuit Studies, 1970), [6]; here the bracketed number refers to the bold bracketed 
numbers in Ganss' s translation, a practice that I will use as well for the General Examen 
and the Constitutions proper. For the early understanding of the brother's vocation, see 
especially Ganss, "Understanding." 

5 The General Examen and Its Declarations, [112], [114]. 

6 Ganss, "Understanding," 9-13. 

7 "Opening Address of Father General," Loyola Symposium on the Vocation and 
Mission of the Jesuit Brother, 1994, in CIS: Review of Ignatian Spirituality 26-1, no. 78 

* William R. Rehg, SJ. 

education had been attracted to the newly formed Society, and Ignatius 
wanted to make room for them. He had also come to see the need for co- 
adjutors. The robust percentages of brothers in the Old Society (i.e., the 
Society before its suppression in 1773) reflect this combination of desire 
and need. 

The work and accomplishments of the brothers in the Old Socie- 
ty reflect Ignatius 7 s idea of the brother: most worked at the temporal 
jobs necessary for maintaining houses; many at the "humble" tasks 
open to the illiterate; a few at highly visible displays of talent, such 
as Andrea Pozzo (1642-1709), renowned for his illusionistic paintings 
of church ceilings and writings on perspective. To get a sense of the 
range of occupations, consider the jobs held by brothers in the 16 cen- 
tury Italian Province: cook, 
tailor, shoemaker, carpenter, 
In light of their work in the architect, printer, nurse, mill- 

Old Society, the brothers' er, bricklayer, painter, sculp- 

opportunities after the restoration tor, gardener, baker, stonecut- 
appear relatively constricted, as ter, and barber. 9 

their "role came to be identified T . . . . . 

, .,, ,, , / It is important to 

more and more with that of a . , u . T .. r . -, 

1 .. . „ J note that Ignatius expected 

domestic servant. , . u . ■. ii''.t. . 

both priests and brothers to en- 

^^^^^— ^^^^— ^^^^^^— ^^^— g a g e i n uplifting spiritual con- 
versation. The great example 
of this among brothers is St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, who worked as a por- 
ter (i.e., the house receptionist and guestmaster) most of his Jesuit life, yet 
was renowned for his profound spiritual insights and guidance. How- 
ever "temporal" or "humble" the brother's external work, opportuni- 
ties for informal evangelization could present themselves. This point will 
prove important for understanding the brother's vocation: regardless of 
his particular work, this sort of opportunity directly links the brother's 
call to religious life with the apostolic mission of the Society. At the same 
time, more public opportunities for evangelization could also belong to 

(1995): 13. 

8 See Ganss, "Understanding," 6 and also 61 for a tabulation of different provinc- 
es, which shows figures ranging from around 23 to 45 percent. 

9 Listed in A. Lynn Martin, The Jesuit Mind (Ithaca: Cornell University Press), 
53, n. 36, from a compilation in Mario Scaduto, Catalogo dei Gesuiti dltalia, 1540-1565 
(Rome, 1968). 

10 General Examen, [115]. 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 7 

the brother's primary mission. Such was the case in China, where broth- 
ers — often men of mixed or Chinese descent from the Portuguese colo- 
ny of Macau — played an integral role in spreading the faith among the 
Chinese. Along with lay catechists, brothers went into villages ahead of 
priests to drum up interest; they taught doctrine, and they gave spiritual 
talks to devotional Chinese confraternities. In addition, brothers in China 
worked side by side with senior priests in teaching incoming European 
missionaries during their first two years of language studies and intro- 
duction to Chinese philosophy, law, and history. 11 

Why would a man attracted to the Jesuits 7 life and mission enter 
to become a brother rather than a priest in those days? Many lacked the 
necessary background education for priestly studies; others lacked the 
stomach for more academic work or entered too late in life to start the 
long trek toward ordination. Some may have been motivated by the idea 
of humble service, which lies at the heart of the Ignatian spirituality and 
the Jesuit charism. In some mission territories, status may have been 
dictated by ethnicity. This was the case, for example, in China before 
1688 (for a complex set of reasons). 12 Many brothers had acquired use- 
ful craft skills or artistic talents as laymen, and I suspect they wanted to 
dedicate those talents to God's service in the Society. For example, Fran- 
cis Stadlin (1658-1740), a master watchmaker, entered the Society at the 
age of twenty-nine out of a desire "to consecrate his talents and mechan- 
ical skill to the glory of God." At the age of fifty he volunteered for the 
China Mission, where he put his stamp on the Chinese watchmaking 
industry. Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766) trained with Italy's master 
painters (including Pozzo) before entering the Society at the age of nine- 
teen; in 1715 he went to China, where he painted at the imperial court 
for fifty years, introducing Western techniques to China and becoming 
respected under the name of Lang Shih-Ning. Castiglione conversed on 
familiar terms with the Chinese Emperor, and at one point persuaded 
him to refrain (temporarily) from persecuting Christians. Castiglione' s 
companion brother in China, John-Joseph da Costa (1680-1747), entered 
the order with a master's degree in surgery and pharmacy in 1700. He 
served as a physician to the imperial court as well as to the poor, train- 

"See Liam Matthew Brockey, Journey to the East: The Jesuit Mission to China, 1579- 
1724 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007), 40^1, 75, 251-52, 260-75, 293. 

12 Thus a number of the Macanese brothers were ordained when finally granted 
permission (Brockey, Journey to the East, 142-151, 280). 

8 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 


ing Christian women "in the ailments of children so that they might win 
access to private homes and baptize all dying children/' 13 

However, we should not assume these men entered precisely to 
give their worldly talents to the Society, as the case of Pozzo shows. Al- 
ready a successful artist with the benefit of a Jesuit high school educa- 
tion, he made an unsuccessful attempt at the Carmelite life before enter- 
ing the Society at the age of twenty- three. After his novitiate, however, 
he wanted to give up painting for the sake of the spiritual life — until 
superiors showed his work to the painter Luigi Scaramuccia, who then 
convinced them to nourish Pozzo' s talent. What we can confidently 
say, therefore, is that such brothers entered the Society with consider- 
able training in hand, which they eventually accepted as an important 
part of their unique contribution to the Society's mission. 

These examples illustrate Ignatius' s recognition that the talent of 
some brothers could warrant more visible forms of apostolic engage- 
ment. More generally, they reveal a rather striking diversity of apostolic 
opportunities open to the pre-suppression brother. However, Ignatius 
also fatefully noted that the brother ought not "to seek more learning 
than he had when he first entered" the Society. 15 He framed this counsel 
with a view toward the brother's contentment and inner peace with his 
grade, since further studies in the sixteenth century normally pointed 
toward ordination. Moreover, as a counsel rather than a prohibition, it 
allowed for exceptions based on discernment in the particular case. 1 By 
the early seventeenth century, subsequent Jesuit legislation had given 
this statement the force of a strict prohibition. Adopted in 1616, Com- 
mon Rule 14 stated: "Let no one of those who are admitted for domes- 
tic service learn either to read or write, or if he have any knowledge 
of letters, acquire more; and let no one teach him without leave of the 
General." 17 By the twentieth century, that rule would provide the clear- 
est sign that the brothers' situation had to change. 

13 Da Costa did some of this baptizing himself; see Pius L. Moore, S.J., "Coadjutor 
Brothers on the Foreign Missions," The Woodstock Letters 74 (1945): 5-20; quotations from 
pp. 14 and 15; see also R. J. Verostko, "Castiglione, Giuseppe," New Catholic Encyclopedia 
(New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967), 3:192. 

14 Bernhard Kerber, Andrea Pozzo (Berlin/ New York: de Gruyter, 1971), 4-8. 

15 General Examen, [117]. 

l6 Ganss, "Understanding," 22. 

17 Quoted from Ganss, "Understanding," 36; see also 35-37. 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 9 

III. From Restoration to Mid-twentieth Century 

Though by no means a systematic survey the first section indi- 
cates the vast range of services rendered by brothers before the 
suppression. The brother's vocation made room for everyone, 
from the unlettered to highly trained professionals in engineering, med- 
icine, and the fine arts. Brothers served the Society in both everyday do- 
mestic tasks and the education of Jesuit missionaries; they worked in 
kitchens, evangelized converts, trained native soldiers, shaped the art 
world, and conversed with emperors. Regardless of role and skill level, 
however, all brothers were expected to bring Christ to others through 
spiritual conversation. In light of their work in the Old Society, the broth- 
ers' opportunities after the restoration appear relatively constricted, as 
their "role came to be identified more and more with that of a domestic 
servant/ 718 In this and the next section, I document this development, 
which provides the immediate background for the changes I examine in 
subsequent sections. 

The Society's restoration in the United States preceded its world- 
wide resurrection by a decade, at least foro interno. With the mediation 
of Bishop John Carroll, a handful of ex-Jesuits in Maryland were per- 
mitted in 1804 to affiliate with the Society in Russia, which had escaped 
suppression when Czarina Catherine forbade promulgation of the pa- 
pal brief of suppression. In 1805 they renewed their vows, and in 1806 
they accepted a group of novices. 19 Thus began a century of expansion 
and institutionalization. In 1823 a group of Belgian Jesuits in Maryland, 
including seven novices, answered the call of Bishop DuBourg and trav- 
eled by fiat boat to St. Louis, and then moved on to establish a mission 
in nearby Florissant. By the early twentieth century, the Missouri Prov- 
ince stretched across the Great Lakes region to the Rocky Mountains. 
Meanwhile, French, Italian, and German Jesuits were busy establishing 
missions across the continent. By mid-nineteenth century Italian Jesuits 

18 Graham D. Wilson, S.J., "Jesuit Identity and the Jesuit Brother: A Contempo- 
rary Understanding of the Charism of the Society of Jesus," M.A. Thesis presented at 
the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley (1996), 66; although Wilson (who has since 
left the Society) does not pinpoint the exact period of this trend, his claim matches the 
developments one can trace through province catalogues for the post-restoration Soci- 
ety in the United States. 

19 R. Emmett Curran, S.J., "From Mission to Province: 1805-1833," in The Mary- 
land Jesuits, 1634-1833 (Baltimore: Corporation of the Roman Catholic Clergymen, the 
Maryland Province Society of Jesus, 1976), 47. 

10 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 

had established the Rocky Mountain and California-Oregon Missions 
(much of which became the California Province in 1909), the French had 
Jesuits in the New Orleans Mission in the southern United States (which 
became the New Orleans Province in 1907), and Germans were at it in 
the Buffalo Mission (areas of western New York and Ohio, which even- 
tually became part of the New York and Detroit Provinces). 20 

Judging from the numbers, brothers constituted a major presence 
in the expanding American Society. The 1869 prospectus for American 
provinces and missions shows percentages of brothers ranging from 38 
percent (Maryland) to nearly 47 percent in the New Orleans Mission — 
significantly larger than the worldwide membership of about 29 percent. 
I suspect that these hefty percentages partly reflect the heavily institu- 
tional character of Jesuit growth in the United States. Schools played an 
important role in the cities, where Jesuit colleges educated students from 
the elementary to the university level; associated with parishes, these col- 
leges were the center of a range of activities. 21 Among the native peoples, 
Jesuits also ran schools, which became the primary base of engagement 
with Native Americans once the reservations were established. 2 These 
Jesuit institutions had need of brothers, and the waves of Catholic immi- 
grants supplied a steady pool of laborers and tradesmen to fill that need. 

One can track this institutional growth in the catalogues. To take 
my home province as an example, the 1824 Missouri catalogue has one 
entry (the Florissant Mission) with ten Jesuits; 1830 lists three entries 
staffed by fifteen Jesuits; 1840, five entries (if we count a group of small 

20 This quick sketch oversimplifies, of course. For example, the French Jesuits also 
worked in New York City, which became part of the New York-Maryland Province in 
1879. For a brief chronology, see John Francis Bannon, S.J., The Missouri Province S.J.: A 
Mini-History (St. Louis: Missouri Province, 1977), lOlf. I have also consulted The New 
York Province of the Society of Jesus, "A Brief History of the New York Province," at (accessed October 20, 

21 Raymond A. Schroth, S.J., The American Jesuits: A History (New York: New York 
University Press, 2007), 62, includes "spiritual programs, retreats, and charitable and so- 
cial societies" among the various works that flowed from the colleges and college par- 
ishes. For a sense of the educational programs, see the description of St. Ignatius College 
in John Bernard McGloin, S.J., Jesuits by the Golden Gate: The Society of Jesus in San Fran- 
cisco, 1849-1969 (University of San Francisco, 1972), chap. 11. 

22 On Jesuit work with the Native Americans in the West, see Gerald McKevitt, 
Brokers of Culture: Italian Jesuits in the American West, 1848-1919 (Stanford: Stanford Uni- 
versity Press, 2007), chaps. 6-7. 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 11 

residences as one) with 82 Jesuits. In Missouri, institutional growth was 
heavily centered at the larger schools and the novitiate. Thus, Saint Lou- 
is University grew from 24 Jesuits (8 of them brothers) in 1840 to a com- 
munity of 55 Jesuits (with 21 brothers, including a brother novice in 
residence) in 1870; by 1900, when a theologate opened at the universi- 
ty, the community of 158 Jesuits included 101 scholastics and 12 broth- 
ers. Meanwhile, the novitiate community at St. Stanislaus grew in that 
same period from 22 Jesuits (with 8 brothers, 6 of them brother novic- 
es) in 1840 to a novitiate and junior ate community of 56 Jesuits (with 18 
vowed brothers, and 6 brother novices) in 1870; by 1900 the community 
of 143 Jesuits included 32 brothers in vows and 4 brother novices. 

The point behind these statistics is this: as American Jesuit pres- 
ence grew through the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, a 
pattern of institutional concentration became fairly typical across the 
United States. As a result, through much of the twentieth century most 
Jesuits lived in large commu- ^^ _^_ 
nities associated with educa- Brothers aho seem to have played 
tional apostolates and houses fl , mU •„ fft( , enforcement of 

of formation. These houses hmse discipHne that iS/ waki 

normally came with attached ^ communit and checking 

agricultural operations, and fe fQ g£e fh werg . flf 

their daily rhythm of life bor- ' ' the allotted times. 

dered on the monastic. The 

idea that formation houses ^ ^— 
were best located in seclud- 
ed country settings, free from the distractions and temptations of city 
life, reinforced these trends. 23 Although the secluded houses of forma- 
tion apparently ran the largest of the agricultural operations, boarding 
schools also relied on attached farms. In fact, at the industrial boarding 
schools on the Indian missions, agriculture was essentially part of the 
curriculum. 24 

The larger novitiates and formation houses — those of Missouri, 
California, and Maryland-New York Provinces — operated rather im- 
pressive farms and vineyards. As Gerald McKevitt describes Wood- 

23 Felice Sopranis's four-year visitation, beginning in 1859, played a key role in 
the agrarian view of formation; Sopranis also emphasized a shift from parish missions 
to centralized urban ministries; see McKevitt, Brokers of Culture, chap. 4. 

24 Ibid v 151, 158, 229; see also Edward J. Meier, S.J., Unknown Soldiers of Christ: How 
Jesuit Brothers Aid in Extending Christ's Kingdom (St. Louis: Queen's Work, 1930), 15. 

12 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 

stock College in the latter nineteenth century, it "supplied most of its 
own needs. Fields of crops, orchards, gardens, a vineyard, herds of cat- 
tle, barns, a slaughter house, carpenters 7 shops, laundry, a hothouse for 
the cultivation of plants" sustained an independent operation. 25 These 
large operations continued to the mid-twentieth century. According to 
Edward Meier, in 1930 the novitiate at Florissant, Missouri, produced 
12,000-15,000 gallons of Mass wine per year from its extensive vine- 
yard; in addition, the novitiate had a large orchard (producing 1,200 
gallons of applesauce and 800 gallons of canned peaches per year), bee- 
hives, and chickens. In 1940, the Los Gatos novitiate sported twenty- 
four brothers (six of them novices); of these, at least five brothers were 
involved in wine production. 

These large educational and formation communities had need of 
personnel engaged in the temporal aspects of mamtaining both the physi- 
cal plant and attached agricultural operations. Brothers were needed not 
only to oversee farming operations, but for cooking and baking, plumb- 
ing and electrical work, carpentry, shoe repair and tailoring, book bind- 
ing (for the house library), infirmary care, and sacristan duties. 28 It thus 
comes as no surprise to find that the larger novitiates tended to contain 
comparatively larger proportions of brothers. The 1911 catalogue for the 
English-speaking American Provinces tallies 31 brothers (of 185 Jesuits) 
at the Maryland-New York novitiate, 37 (of 144) at Florissant, and 16 (of 
66) at the California novitiate. The proportion of brothers at the Indian 
missions was even higher, however — in some cases early half. 29 There the 
brothers not only ran the farm and physical plant, but also did a signifi- 
cant amount of the teaching, which was focused on vocational training 
in any case, that is, farming, mechanics, and the like. As a result, "[t]hose 
who exercised the most consistent influence over male scholars were Je- 

25 McKevitt, Brokers of Culture, 79. 

26 Meier, Unknown Soldiers, 13. 

27 From the 1940 California Province catalogue; in that same year, the Missouri 
novitiate also had four brothers working in that capacity, of a total of forty-eight broth- 
ers, thirteen of them novices. 

28 Meier, Unknown Soldiers, 9-17; McKevitt, Brokers of Culture, 79, notes that the 
staff of "nearly thirty" brothers at Woodstock "performed the duties of cook, gardener, 
vintner, cattleman, carpenter, butcher, blacksmith, plumber, and porter." 

29 E.g., the 1938 Missouri Province catalogue lists ten brothers (of twenty-one Je- 
suits) at the Pine Ridge community, and eleven (of twenty-three) at the St. Francis Mis- 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 13 

suit brothers" — the young native Americans saw them laboring at both 
the traditionally male and female activities. 30 Some brothers also taught 
at the urban colleges and universities. For example, Bartolomeo Tortore 
and Giuseppe Carignano taught art at Santa Clara College (California) 
and Gonzaga College (Spokane), respectively. 

However, by the mid-twentieth century if not before, it seems that 
the teaching brothers tended to be the exception in the American Socie- 
ty. As the catalogues show, the brothers' primary contributions lay in do- 
mestic and institutional sup- 
port work. For that work they 

proved indispensable. Broth- Hidden though their lives might 

ers also seem to have played a be, brothers could still make 

large role in the enforcement of an impression, both inside and 

house discipline, that is, wak- outside the Society. How else 

ing the community and check- could the ahove lists °f "notables" 
ing people to see they were come about? 

praying at the allotted times. ^— ^— ^-^^^^^^— ^^— ^^— ^^— 
In any case, the figures show 

that most brothers labored at tasks we would call "blue collar," though 
some took on white-collar clerical positions such as house treasurer or as- 
sistant to the province socius. Others, like the house infirmarians, worked 
in positions that would later become professionalized. 

Gilbert Garraghan's list of memorable Missouri Province brothers 
supports this overall impression and fills out the numbers with flesh- 
and-blood. There we read, for example, that Charles Lynch (1860-1919) 
was mechanic, foreman, and utility man at Saint Louis University; after 
working nineteen years in the mill at Florissant, Thomas Brady (1837- 
1912) spent thirty years at St. Mary's College in Kansas as a painter, 
glazier, and shopkeeper. Others, like Thomas Mulkerins (1858-1934), 
worked in parishes — in his case, fifty years as sacristan at Holy Fam- 
ily Church in Chicago, eventually writing the history of the parish in 

3 °McKevitt, Brokers of Culture, 160-61. 

31 Ibid v 229; one should not assume the brothers taught at the higher-ed level, 
since Jesuit colleges at the time followed the European model that integrated four years 
of high school with collegiate studies in a seven- to eight-year program (ibid., 21 ff). 

32 For example, at Saint Louis University in 1940, six of the thirteen brothers were 
assigned such tasks. 

14 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 


1923. Bannon's list of Jesuit "notables" of the twentieth century gives 
a similar impression, which suggests that the typical work of brothers 
did not significantly change through the first half of the century. Among 
the brothers he includes in his list, 34 we find an assistant to the socius 
(Charles A. Desnoyers, d. 1937), a "saintly Brother Clothes-Keeper at 
Campion" (Augustine Gaul, d. 1938), an infirmarian (Eugene L. Jen- 
nings, d. 1957), a community treasurer (Eugene F. Leber, d. 1950), a bak- 
er at Florissant (Patrick A. Terry, d. 1947), a parish sacristan (Theodore 
van Ryn, d. 1934), a chauffeur at Florissant (Louis C. Verhelst, d. 1947), 
and a steward and buyer (Joseph Raemdonck, d. 1951). No doubt many 
of these men were quite gifted at their work. For example, Bannon de- 
scribes George B. Blum (d. 1973) as a "remarkably gifted brother — 
bookbinder, engineer, electrician, plumber, mechanic — who held SLU 
together with 'scotch tape and bailing wire/" Two of Bannon's honor- 
ees carried on the brothers' legacy in the arts: John B. Louis (d. 1938) at 
painting, Albert J. Schell (d. 1969) at poetry. 

The figures and examples give us some sense of the actual prac- 
tice of the brother's vocation. That practice fostered a particular theory 
of the vocation that focused on laboring in the background. Thus Meier 
explicitly aligns the brother's vocation with the "hidden life," the "life of 
prayer and labor" practiced by St. Joseph, Mary, Therese of Lisieux, and 
Jesus before his public ministry: "Jesuit Brothers know that they are serv- 
ing God's cause in the 'Hidden Life' while Jesuit priests serve in the 'Pub- 
lic Life.'" 35 John LaFarge likewise understands the brother's vocation in 
terms of "the life of constant, domestic labor" practiced by Jesus in his 
workshop at Nazareth. Note, however, that in taking this view of broth- 
ers, both authors also affirmed the equality of brothers as Jesuits: Brothers 
are "full-fledged members of the Society." 36 As Meier has an imaginary 
novice put it, "Brothers are just as much Jesuits as we [training to be- 
come priests] are." Thus the brother "serves with equal glory if he serves 

33 Gilbert }. Garraghan, S.J., The Jesuits of the Middle United States, 3 vols. (New 
York: America Press, 1938) 3:589-91. 

34 Bannon, 87-100; although Bannon's and Garraghan's lists are drawn from the 
Missouri Province, they illustrate the typical work of brothers across the United States. 

35 Meier, Unknown Soldiers, 5-6. 

36 John LaFarge, S.J., A Report on the American Jesuits (New York: Farrar, Straus and 
Cudahy, 1956), 119, 113; also 113-22. 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 15 

well." 37 After GC 31, the question of the brothers' equality will become a 
central topic of discussion among Jesuits. More on that below. 

However, these lists do not reveal the full range and depth of 
ministerial opportunities open to these brothers. Hidden though their 
lives might be, brothers could still make an impression, both inside and 
outside the Society. How else could the above lists of "notables" come 
about? We can also find rather interesting exceptions to the rule of do- 
mestic labor. In the next section, then, I describe three brothers in a bit 
more detail. 

IV. The Brother before Vatican II: 
Three Examples 

If one peruses the obituaries of Jesuit brothers in the Society before 
the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), one gets the sense that 
many of them made their mark precisely inside the community, 
by their dedication and holiness in the Jesuit life. Take Patrick Hager- 
ty (1860-1940), for example. 38 Raised in Ireland with little schooling, he 
made his way to Massachusetts and worked as a tailor and blacksmith 
before entering the Society. Having failed at his first assignment as cook, 
he was sent to Woodstock and worked briefly in the clothes room. 1894 
found him at Georgetown University engaged in what would become 
his lifelong profession, infirmarian. After final vows in 1906, he moved 
back to Woodstock, where in 1918 he worked "tirelessly" in nursing 
the community through the influenza pandemic. In 1922 he moved to 
the College of the Holy Cross in the newly established New England 
Vice Province, where he rendered first-aid services "to a thousand boys 
and almost a hundred members of the Faculty." There Brother Hager- 
ty' s dedication made an impression beyond the community: "The Fac- 
ulty knew and loved him, and he easily won his way into the hearts of 
the students, who could appreciate a thoroughly tireless and spiritual 
man." The obituary then adds a striking remark: "To many a student 
this indefatigable Brother was not unlike a very saintly priest." 

With Hagerty we see a brother who, similar to Brother Alphonsus 
Rodriquez, models the Jesuit vocation to other Jesuits. His story also 

37 Meier, Unknown Soldiers, 4 and 5. 

38 See "Brother Patrick Hagerty, S.J.," Woodstock Letters 70 (1941): 273-78. 

16 * William R. Rehg, S. J. 

shows how the brother can, his background role notwithstanding, min- 
ister to the laypersons he contacts. Hagerty' s work at Holy Cross was no 
longer entirely "hidden" in a secluded country college, but rather had a 
public, even priestly character. 

My second example further highlights the public opportunities 
open to the traditional preconciliar brother. As Garraghan remembers 
him, George Bender (1842-1925) worked as "prefect, instructor, store- 
keeper, and bandmaster" at St. Mary's College. 9 His work thus brought 
him into daily contact with students and faculty, and thus had a pub- 
lic character. But these facts conceal a more colorful story. Like Hager- 
ty, Bender was an implant, an Irishman born in Liverpool who took to 
sea at the age of fifteen, found his way from a foundering ship in Nova 

Scotia to the shoe factories of 

Massachusetts; from there he 
Unlike Hagerty and Bender, joined the army and fought 
[Rueppel] did not simply follow for the North under Generals 
the default track for applicants of McClelland and Grant. After 
his background, but went against converting to Catholicism in 
the grain, and apparently against 1865, Bender entered the So- 
some official resistance, choosing ciety at Florissant in 1866. But 
not to pursue ordination but for an eleven-year stint at the 
rather to enter as a brother. St. Charles and Osage Mis- 
sions (1881-1892), he spent his 

entire post-novitiate life at St. 

Mary's College (which began 
as an Indian school). Like Hagerty, Bender made an impression both on 
Jesuits and laity. As Jesuits remembered him, "[h]is life was made up 
of little things and humble, unpretentious labor but the thought of God 
and Our Blessed Mother was never far from his mind." He thus mod- 
eled the vocation: "His observance of the Rule, his exact fidelity to his 
vows, his ever cheery word and smile made him an inspiration to all." 
At St. Mary's, Bender displayed his musical talents in the college or- 
chestra (apparently he played the bass fiddle or cello). At his golden ju- 
bilee in 1916, he was honored in part simply for his disposition: "Many 

39 Garraghan, Jesuits of the Middle United States 3:589-91. 

4 °Joseph L. Scott, S.J., "Brother George Bender, S.J.," Province News-Letter 7, no. 6 
(February 1926): 47-^8; Scott notes that Bender's devotion to Mary preceded his conversion, 
and he would react with indignation to charges that the Protestants did not honor Mary. 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 17 

a dark and brooding heart he has sent singing with a gentle word well 
placed and many a gloomy situation has he lighted up with the sun- 
shine of his personality/ 7 

In lifting sagging spirits, Bender too "was not unlike a very saint- 
ly priest/' He and Hagerty thus exemplify the way that many brothers, 
like St. Alphonsus before them, modeled not only the religious but also 
the apostolic, priestly character of the Jesuit vocation before Vatican II, 
namely, by their quality of life in roles that brought them opportunities 
for informal contacts with laypersons. To be sure, Bender's institutional 
roles — instructor, prefect, band member — may have given him more of 
a public presence at St. Mary's than Hagerty had at Holy Cross. Neither, 
it seems, entered with much education, though Hagerty eventually ac- 
quired the basic medical skills necessary for an infirmarian and Bend- 
er was apparently able to teach at a high-school level. Both men fit the 
typical brother's profile of the time: immigrants suited by their blue-col- 
lar background for serving the Society's institutional needs. 

My third example, George Rueppel (1864-1947), appears to be 
something of an exception to that profile. Born in Germany, Rueppel 
had the benefit of a classical education, graduating from the Gymnasi- 
um two years ahead of his class. After an argument with his family over 
Bismarck's politics, he emigrated to the United States, pursued "about a 
year" of further collegiate studies (apparently in experimental physics), 
and eventually entered the Missouri Province novitiate in 1882 after a 
number of deferments. One can surmise the reason for the Jesuits' hesi- 
tation to admit him: given his age and education, the expected path in 
those days would point toward ordination. But Rueppel, though "more 
than once given the option" of studying for the priesthood, "preferred 
the status of lay-brother." 42 His first assignments were indeed in the 
background: prefect of the refectory at the College of the Sacred Heart 
(later Campion) in Prairie du Chien (1883-84) and infirmarian at Cani- 

41 '"In Honor of Bro. George: Golden Jubilee of Pioneer Brother of Society of Je- 
sus Celebrated at College/' unidentified newspaper clipping, Midwest Jesuit Archives 
(MWJA), Missouri Collection, Personnel File; I have also consulted St. Mary's College 
Bulletin 4, no. 4 (July 1908): 63; and undated photographs of Bender with the orchestra 
(MWJA, Missouri Collection). 

^"Bro. George E. Rueppel, S.J." Missouri Province Newsletter (January 1948): 38- 
39, quoted here from p. 38; see also Leo P. Wobido, S.J., "Brother Rueppel . . . Pioneer, 
Broadcaster," The Jesuit Bulletin 26, no. 6 (December 1947): 3-7 

18 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 


sius College (1884-86). From then on, his science background came 
into play as he moved from college to college across the Buffalo Mission. 
While still at Canisius, Rueppel first began to teach; 44 he also directed 
the college's observatory (1886-1894). After teaching at St. Ignatius Col- 
lege in Cleveland (1894-1901), he showed his versatility at the College 
of St. John Berchmans in Toledo, where he taught mathematics, account- 
ing, German, religion, geography, physics, and botany. 45 He arrived at 
Saint Louis University in 1908, where he ran the meteorological station 
and, in 1921, founded WEW, the first broadcast station west of the Mis- 
sissippi (and the second in the country). 

Rueppel was remembered for his resourcefulness and versatility: 
"Besides engineer, he was also station manager, program director, conti- 
nuity writer, platter turner, announcer, talent scout, auditioner, and star 
performer." 47 He also served the city of St. Louis as a legal expert, called 
in to verify claims about the weather in court. As an announcer and 
"platter turner," he delivered at least one memorable faux pas: turning 
a platter over, he introduced the next piece as "Kiss Me Once" on the 
backside." Jesuits also remember him as a conscientious, genial person- 
ality, ready to explain his work to those who inquired. His obituary 
gives us only glimpses of his spiritual life: his development of spiritual 
radio programs (which later became the "Sacred Heart Hour") and his 

43 Dates are from his personnel file, Missouri Collection, MWJA. 

'"There he is listed as "Teacher in Commercial Course"; "Some Brothers Serving 
on the Buffalo Mission of the German Province," MWJA, Missouri Collection, location: 
Buffalo Mission Materials, Folder: Canisius College Archives Inventory. 

45 The German Province Catalogue (1907) lists the following: "Doc. Math, in 3 et 
4 cl., ration, expensi et accepti, ling, germ., relig. in 1 et 2 cl., geogr., phys., bot., Praef. 
Alumn., an. 21 mag." 

46 Wobido, "Brother Rueppel." 7, notes that Rueppel taught at SLU. He clearly 
was active as a scientist from the start; according to the SLU Website (at http:/ /www. accessed September 8, 2008), 
he installed a Weichert seismograph in 1909; in 1930 he joined the Department of Geo- 
physics that had been established in 1925; see "Department of Earth and Atmospher- 
ic Sciences: Department History" at (ac- 
cessed September 8, 2008). 

47 Wobido, "Brother Rueppel," 5. 

48 Interviews with Raymond Reis, S.J., and Philip E. Pick, S.J., St. Louis, August 
23, 2008, and August 30, 2008, resp. Both men remember Rueppel' s friendliness; Reis 
recalls his work with the courts. The faux pas was related to me both by Pick and John 
Padberg, S.J. (St. Louis, May 26, 2008). 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 19 

"repeated recourse in financial crises to Our Lady, St. Joseph, and the 
Little Flower." 49 

What especially interests me about Rueppel is his choice of the 
brother's status. Unlike Hagerty and Bender, he did not simply follow 
the default track for applicants of his background, but went against 
the grain, and apparently against some official resistance, choosing not 
to pursue ordination but rather to enter as a brother. 5 Unfortunately, 
the details of Rueppel' s choice remain elusive: we do not know exactly 
what attracted him about the brother's vocation. But we can say this: his 
choice to enter as a brother had an intentional character that appears ex- 
ceptional in his day (though not unprecedented). 51 Although every deci- 
sion to enter religious life expresses an intention, for most Jesuit broth- 
ers of the time, it seems that ordination was never a live option, given 
their educational backgrounds. In some cases, men who started on an 
ordination track chose to become brothers because they wanted to re- 
main Jesuits after encountering an obstacle that precluded ordination. 5 
Not so with Rueppel: when he applied to the Jesuits, he insisted on an 
additional choice, intending not simply to enter the Society, but to en- 
ter it precisely as a brother rather than as a scholastic. To my knowledge, 
in the American Society today this sort of "intentional brother" has be- 
come the normal route for brothers, including those who first entered as 
"indifferent" to grades. 

Rueppel' s decision makes the distinctive attractiveness of the broth- 
er's vocation explicit, underscoring the value of non-ordained religious 

49 Wobido, "Brother Rueppel," 5 and 6. 

5 °The defaults still held when I entered the Society in 1976 (with a college edu- 
cation): though I had expressed a desire to enter as a brother, I was advised to enter as 
a scholastic. 

51 According to his obituary, Martin Whelan, S.J. (1837-1904), a gifted painter, 
theater director, and composer, was reputedly offered the chance to study for ordina- 
tion, but "through humility he declined the proposal" (E. I. Devitt, S.J., "Brother Martin 
Whelan," Woodstock Letters 33 [1904]: 101-4, quoted here from p. 104; another example is 
Brother Thomas O'Neill (d. 1895), who also declined the classical studies necessary for 
ordination; see John J. Killoren, S.J., NiNi Harris, Nancy Merz, David J. Suwalsky, S.J., 
Thomas C. Nickolai, and William Barnaby Faherty, S.J., Jesuit Roots and Pioneer Heroes of 
the Middle West (Florissant, Mo.: St. Stanislaus Jesuit Historical Museum, 1988), 102-3. 

52 For example, Francis Xavier Carvalho, S.J., was about to be dismissed because 
of problems with his hearing, but out of his "remarkable love for his vocation ... he 
begged to be retained as a temporal coadjutor" ("Brother Francis Xavier Carvalho," 
Woodstock Letters 34 [1905]: 416-18, quoted here from p. 417. 

20 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 

life on its own terms. But as we saw above, "typical" brothers like Hager- 
ty and Bender also modeled the brother's vocation as an attractive option. 
In doing so, they displayed a deep love of Jesuit religious life — a love we 
hope to find at the heart of every Jesuit. In their charity and evident hap- 
piness as brothers, these men provided their communities with living re- 
minders of the value of the religious life as such, whether one is ordained 
or not. In these preconciliar brothers we glimpse the attractiveness and 
viability of the brother's vocation in their day. 

As they labored in their temporal roles, often in the background, 
brothers before the Second Vatican Council found support in a spiritual- 
ity that emphasized the dignity of labor and the hidden life. To a signifi- 
cant extent, that spirituality reflected what most brothers in the United 
States actually did, and what the Society needed them to do, in the high- 
ly institutionalized, quasi-agricultural Society of those days. The spir- 
ituality of brotherhood thus 
provided an interpretation or 
GC 31 also called for further theory of the brother's voca- 

work on the question of the tion that was grounded in the 

brother, which eventuated in the reality of the Society, the actual 

unprecedented World Congress practice of Jesuit brothers. This 

of Brothers in 1970. Again, from alignment between the tradi- 

the "Final Conclusions" of that tional spirituality of the broth- 

congress we can see the old er's vocation and the realities 

wounds as well as the positive of Jesuit life suggests a par- 

implications of GC 31. tial explanation of the larger 

percentages of brothers in the 

nineteenth- and early twenti- 
eth-century American Society. 
The large, semi-agricultural institutions had need of a sizable lay staff; 
the spirituality of the hidden life of labor provided an attractive reason 
to enter for men not otherwise equipped for, or inclined toward, the rig- 
ors and tedium of study. No doubt the quasi-monastic spirituality of the 
post-suppression Society only heightened the resonance between mate- 
rial reality and the spiritual aspirations of brothers. With the Society so 
receptive to brothers, and with men like Hagerty and Bender attractive- 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 21 

ly modeling the spirituality of labor, one can see why devout Catholic 
working men might be attracted to the Jesuit brother's vocation. 

The apparent alignment between theory and practice, however, 
also conceals a more ambiguous situation in at least two ways. First, 
the hidden /public dichotomy oversimplified things. As we have seen, 
the work of some brothers was hardly hidden. Even those who did not 
teach could have a considerable presence in an institution — a presence 
that even exuded a priestly character. Conversely, a significant number 
of Jesuit priests worked in the background as much as did the typical 
brother: as community ministers, socii to provincials, librarians, and so 
on. What is more, the explicitly sacramental activity of many priests of- 
ten ended with their private celebration of a morning Eucharist. This 
trend led one Jesuit, when asked why the Society lacked brothers, to 
reply that plenty of brothers were entering the Society — it's just that 
"we're ordaining them all." 53 In the end, what actually distinguished 
Jesuit priests and brothers, both in theory and in practice, was the lev- 
el and kind of education: priests were expected to have completed a 
long course of training, whereas brothers were explicitly forbidden to 
do so by Common Rule 14. That rule in effect codified the second mis- 
match between ideal and reality: assertions of equality notwithstand- 
ing, brothers increasingly felt their second-class status. To understand 
developments in the situation of Jesuit brothers after the Second Vatican 
Council, we must briefly trace the reactions to this second mismatch. 

V. The Jesuit Brother at the Crossroads 

Common Rule 14 had already become a problem in the early 
twentieth century. With the tremendous growth in the general 
availability of education, the rule increasingly appeared pater- 
nalistic. It also hindered the development and training that would be ex- 
pected for laypersons in the kind of trades practiced by many brothers. 54 
In 1923, therefore, GC 27 made a slight change: Now brothers needed 
only the permission of the provincial, rather than of the General, to ac- 

53 1 believe this quip has been attributed to John Courtney Murray. 

54 Ganss, "Understanding," 37; Ganss notes a correlation between the drop in 
brothers' percentages and the growth of general education in Europe and the United 
States in the early twentieth century (ibid., 31). 

22 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 

quire "more learning than they had when they entered/' 55 However, it 
was not until 1957, at GC 30, that the Rule was altogether dropped. 

Nonetheless, problems in practice remained, as was clear from the 
postulata for GC 31. Convened in 1965, that congregation faced the tre- 
mendous task of renewal in the wake of Vatican Council II. The postulata 
dealing with the brother's vocation, as well as discussion at the congre- 
gation itself, showed a concern "that the nature and character of their 
vocation be elaborated more clearly,, that a proper practical esteem for 
their vocation become operative through fraternal co-operation among 
Ours, through fitting equality in a common and familiar way of life, and 
through the suppression of any undue discrimination." 56 In response, 
the congregation strongly affirmed that brothers "have a full share" in 
"one and the same" apostolic vocation with the Jesuit priest. GC 31 elimi- 
nated social distinctions between brothers and priests in community life 
(e.g., separate recreation rooms, unequal domestic chores) and called 
for a new mind-set on the part of all. 57 

GC 31 also called for further work on the question of the broth- 
er, which eventuated in the unprecedented World Congress of Broth- 
ers in 1970. Again, from the "Final Conclusions" of that congress we 
can see the old wounds as well as the positive implications of GC 31. 
The Congress acknowledged "an awareness of inequality, an awareness 
which sometimes results visibly in bitterness." 5 In response, it empha- 
sized that brothers and priests share in one and the same apostolic vo- 
cation, albeit through complementary activities: "[H]ence there are no 
second-class Jesuits, but only companions in Jesus in one same apostolic 
work." 60 Thus an idea of complementary equality lay at the center of the 
Congress's various recommendations, which in effect spell out the con- 

55 See ibid., 37. 

^Information Office, "Notes on Brothers," XXXI General Congregation Newsletter, 
no. 16, 2: On the Temporal Coadjutors (Rome, July 15, 1965), introduction; see also "The 
Preliminary Report by the Preparatory Commission for GC 34: The Jesuit Brother," CIS: 
Review oflgnatian Spirituality 26-1, no. 78 (1995): 144-50. 

57 See Jackson, "One and the Same Vocation," 6-8; GC 31, Decree 7, esp. nos. 1, 2, 
and 6, in Documents of the 31 st and 32 nd General Congregations (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit 
Sources, 1977). 

58 Brother's Congress, "Final Conclusions," private Jesuit document, distributed 
by James J. McQuade, S.J. (June 6, 1970), no. 28 (NJBC file). 

59 Ibid., nos. 1-4,6-9. 

6o Ibid., no. 4. 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 23 

tent of such equality: Brothers should be trained for apostolic activities 
and encouraged thereto, they should receive the requisite professional 
development, they should have the same educational requirements for 
entrance as priest candidates, and they should obtain theological forma- 
tion. 61 More radically, the Congress also proposed two juridical implica- 
tions of equality: that brothers have an equal share in governance and 
that the distinction of grades be abolished. 62 

As Pedro Arrupe, then Superior General, noted in his letter on 
the Congress, 63 the juridical recommendations "involve the competence 
of a General Congregation or even the Holy See." Since then, some of 
the juridical recommendations have become reality, such as the capaci- 
ty of brothers to participate as electors in a general congregation. Oth- 
er changes, such as the aboli- ■ , ■ 
tion of grades and capacity of Buf musf nof an understanding 
brothers to be superiors, pose offhe brother < s vocation aXso 
greater difficulties and have identify a distinct positive 
not taken place. In the postc- contribution to the Jesuit life 
onciliar discourse on the Jesuit and mission? 
brother, however, the notion of 
complementary equality con- 
cerns above all the recognition that the brother's vocation shares fully 
in the apostolic charism of the Society. What such equality requires ju- 
ridically is a derivative matter. Thus the Brother's Congress took care to 
note that its recommendations were not driven by "an aggressive pur- 
suit of equal rights" or "a desire for power," but rather by the brothers' 
need for social recognition — their acceptance as genuine companions 
with an apostolic vocation on a par with (though distinct from) that 
of priests. Father Arrupe grounds such recognition on a theological 
premise: that from a faith perspective, "we should see clearly the neces- 

6l Ibid v nos. 15, 16, 19, 34, and 35. In fact, although the Congress spoke of the 
"complementary" activities of priests and brothers (e.g., nos. 3-4), it did not actually use 
the phrase "complementary equality" in its conclusions. But that idea is clearly pres- 
ent in the concern to eliminate inequality and undue discrimination against brothers, to 
open up apostolic and educational opportunities for brothers, and to develop a "genu- 
ine community integration based on the equality and personal worth of each one" (no. 
32). The same idea, though not the phrase, also informs GC 31. 

62 Ibid., esp. nos. 6, 9-12. 

63 Pedro Arrupe, S.J., "Letter to the Whole Society," June 29, 1970, no. 7; official 
Latin version in Acta Romana Societatis Jesu 15, no. 4 (1970): 567-70. 

64 Brother's Congress, nos. 28-29. 

24 * William R. Rehg, SJ. 

sity of regarding as equal, in terms of Gospel values, the services and 
ministries which the members of the Society perform." 65 

Subsequent changes in the situation of brothers have begun to im- 
plement the call for complementary equality in GC 31 and the Brother's 
Congress. Brothers have branched out into a range of apostolic activi- 
ties. This development, which is especially striking in retrospect, went 
hand-in-hand with changes in the brother's formation, spearheaded 
by the brothers themselves. Laudable as such changes are, however, a 
deeper question concerning complementary equality remains, which I 
take up in the last section. 

VI. The Late Twentieth Century 

The decades following GC 31 and the Brothers' Congress wit- 
nessed a gradual shift in the work of brothers toward more vis- 
ibly apostolic activities that hitherto had largely been the work of 
Jesuit priests. A survey of American brothers conducted by Father Fran- 
cis Gillespie in 1986 reveals a slight shift. 66 Although the largest per- 
centage of the respondents (30 percent) still labored in the traditional 
support roles (maintenance man, mechanic, grounds keeper, minister, 
porter, cook, sacristan, etc.) and 10 percent occupied traditional white- 
collar roles (treasurer, business manager), a small group (7 percent) 
identified their ministry as teacher or professor, and 11 percent placed 
themselves in other white-collar roles (manager, administrator, regis- 
trar, etc.). This survey probably underestimates the extent of the shift, 
however. The rate of response (205 out of 350, or 58 percent), together 
with the fact that the work of 31 percent of the respondents is listed as 
"other," means that of the 350 brothers queried, the work of more than 
half of them remains unidentified. Brother Lawrence Huck's 1995 sur- 
vey of brothers is more explicit about the range of ministries, which ex- 
tend beyond the traditional roles to include engineer, researcher, pas- 
toral minister, counselor, hospital chaplain, high-school teacher, and 

65 Pedro Arrupe, S.J., "Contribution of the Brother to the Life and Apostolate of 
the Society/' in Arrupe, Challenge to Religious Life Today, ed. J. Aixala, S.J., 2nd ed. (St. 
Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1979), 279-93, quoted here from p. 288. 

66 Fran Gillespie, S.J., "Brothers of the Society of Jesus: Results of the 1986 At- 
titudinal Survey" (Washington, D.C.: Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, 


Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 25 

assistant novice master. 67 Huck's list matches my own experience: since 
I entered the Society in 1976, 1 have known brothers who have worked 
as high-school and college teachers, administrators, pastoral workers, 
vocation directors, chaplains, social workers, physicists, deacons, re- 
treat directors, and even as the de facto equivalent of house superiors, a 
role reserved de jure to priests. 

To be sure, many brothers still labor nobly in the traditional back- 
ground roles. But to get a better sense of the expansion of brothers' activi- 
ties and some of their more visible accomplishments, let us review some 
particular examples of the new brother (as of 2008). Consider Guy Con- 
solmagno, who entered the Maryland Province in 1989 with a doctorate 
in planetary science; he is the author of a number of books and currently 
works at the Vatican Observatory. 68 Charles Jackson, currently the associ- 
ate director of the Loyola Institute for Spirituality in southern California, 
has held a top administrative post in the Jesuit Curia in Rome (under- 
secretary of the Society and consultant on matters relating to the broth- 
er), where he helped shape reflection on the brother's vocation. 69 Before 
his untimely death in 2000, Thomas Naughton brought his masters' -lev- 
el training in social work to help the dying in hospice care; he also held 
the post of assistant rector at the house of studies in St. Louis. Already 
known among Jesuits for his culinary skills, Donald Schlichter was hon- 
ored in 2007 by the Religious Brothers' Conference for his work as a hos- 
pital chaplain in Denver. Until recently James Holub, who entered in 1990 
with a background as a CEO, worked with inner-city gangs, founding 
HomeBoyz Interactive to help gang members develop marketable com- 
puter skills. Finally, some brothers carry on the tradition of brother art- 
ists. For example, Charles Onorato's beautiful paintings have been ex- 

6? Larry Huck, nS.J., "The Jesuit Brother: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow," A sur- 
vey of Jesuit Brothers living in the U.S. from October 1994 through June 1995 (NJBC 

68 See Vatican Observatory Staff (2008), "Guy J. Consolmagno, S.J.," at http:// (accessed January 8, 2008). 

69 For example, see his essay on the brothers, cited in n. 2 above; also Peter-Hans 
Kolvenbach, S.J., "Father General Addresses the Brothers of the U.S.," transcript of vid- 
eotaped interview with Brother. Charles J. Jackson, S.J., May 27, 1997 (NJBC file). 

7 °Jim Holub, S.J., "Jesuit Brother Helps Gang Members Find a Way Out," Call- 
ings 3, no. 2 (Winter 2001), available at 

26 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 

■ . ■ :■■:. : : : :■::■::;:::■-:■::::?:•:-:■ 

hibited on the internet. 71 And Michael Breault has a foot in Hollywood, 
working as a vice president at Loyola Productions. 72 

The above described trend toward greater public visibility and 
participation in formal apostolic roles realizes the desire of the Brothers' 
Congress that brothers be as fully involved in apostolic activities as pos- 
sible for the non-ordained. Could we say that this trend represents a re- 
turn to the brother of the Old Society? I think not, at least for the United 
States. For one, brothers today are expected to have a higher level of ed- 
ucation than those in the Old Society. There is no longer any room for the 
illiterate. But note also that the recent expansion in works has extend- 
ed not so much to the craft trades in which presuppression brothers ex- 
celled — though brothers today 
still have a strong presence in 
But sacramental ministry the fine arts — but rather to min- 

does not exhaust the Society's isterial and academic roles that 

understanding of its apostolic were exceptional for brothers 

charism: non-sacramental in the Old Society. Perhaps we 

activities are likewise "essential/' should regard the recent shift 
written into both the founding as making more explicit and 

documents and history public the apostolic charac- 

of the order. ter of all the brothers' activi- 

,^^^^^^^_____^^_^^_ ties, which as we have seen 

can have a priestly character 
even when they involve back- 
ground support roles. Indeed, of all the Jesuit funerals I have attended, 
one of the largest was that of Brother Philip Malone, who died at an 
advanced age after working most of his life as a sacristan at St. Francis 
Xavier (College) Church in St. Louis — a "humble" background role, in- 
deed, but one that brought Brother Malone into contact with numerous 
people. In his gentle accessibility, Brother Malone, like Patrick Hagerty 
before him, displayed the priestly character of the Society — a point to 
which I return in the last section. 

71 See Jesuits of the California Province (2008), "Jesuit Art Gallery: Paint- 
ing to Delight the Eye," at 
Page.aspx?&pid=554&srcid=554 (accessed January 8, 2008). 

72 See Jescom (2008), "Loyola Productions, Los Angeles, California/' at http:// gallery /placeShow.cfm?PubID=11554 (accessed January 8, 2008); 
also Loyola Productions (2005), "The Team," at /compa- 
ny /team.htm (accessed January 8, 2008). 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 27 

In the United States, the gradual shift in the brothers 7 range of activ- 
ities was accompanied by major changes in their formation. The National 
Jesuit Brothers Committee (NJBC) played an instrumental role in this de- 
velopment. First begun in 1978 by Jerry Sullivan with a meeting in New 
Orleans, the NJBC disbanded in 1979, but was called back to life at the 
request of the U.S. Provincials in 1980. Bylaws were drawn up and even- 
tually ratified in July 1983 at a meeting in Washington D.C. 73 The pro- 
vincials wanted to know what kind of formation the brothers desired — 
hence the first major project of the NJBC, to prepare a document on the 
brother's formation. 74 This document called for more active recruitment 
of brothers. It also laid out a program of brothers' formation that tracked 
the formation of scholastics, but without requiring those specific exami- 
nations and degrees necessary for ordination: a two-year novitiate, pro- 
fessional and academic training with Jesuit peers, a two- or three-year pe- 
riod of regency, at least a year of theology, and tertianship. 

The year following the publication of the document on brothers' 
formation, the NJBC sponsored the first of its annual theology insti- 
tutes, held in Boston in June 1987. 75 In general, the institutes have pro- 
vided workshops aimed at the brothers' ongoing education in theology, 
spirituality, and other aspects of Jesuit life. They also have given broth- 
ers a forum for reflecting on their Jesuit identity and channeling com- 
mon concerns and proposals to Jesuit leadership, such as that for full ju- 
ridical incorporation. 7 

VII. Why Jesuit Brothers Today? 

I close by returning to the leading question: what makes the broth- 
er's vocation an attractive, viable option for young men attracted to 
religious life? Although each brother has a unique story of his call to 
the Society, in choosing to become brothers they affirm the value of the 

73 NJBC, "Significant Events of the Last Ten Years," in Minutes of the May 13-14, 
1989, Meeting, Brebeuf Preparatory School, Indianapolis, Indiana (NJBC file); conversa- 
tion with Louis Mauro, S.J., over the beginning of NJBC (January 10, 2008). 

74 NJBC, "The Jesuit Brother: A Statement by the National Jesuit Brothers' Com- 
mittee" (1986). 

75 NJBC, "Significant Events." 

76 Dennis J. Ryan, S.J., and A. Joseph Martin, S.J., Letter to Walter L. Farrell, S.J., 
President, Jesuit Conference, June 26, 1989 (NJBC hie). 

28 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 

brother's vocation as a specific way of living the Jesuit life that opens 
up attractive opportunities for service, love, and evangelization. As we 
have seen, those opportunities have evolved over the centuries. In the 
Old Society, the range of brother's training and work was tremendous- 
ly diverse. Open to both unlettered peasant and skilled craftsman, the 
brother's vocation made room in the Society's mission for all those who 
otherwise would have been excluded by a strict ordination requirement. 
Similarly, the post-restoration Society, though perhaps less imaginative 
in the work it typically assigned to brothers in America, gave Catholic 
workingmen the chance to contribute their humble labors to the heady 
challenges of institution building and native evangelization. In both of 
these earlier contexts, a particular spirituality — emphasizing humility 
and labor — affirmed the brother's vocation as an attractive option for 
men who lacked the education or desire for ordination, but who wanted 
to contribute their labor and talent more directly to the apostolic work 
of the Church than they could as non-religious laymen. 

Can we say something similar about the brother's vocation today? 
Similar, yes — but that means we must also understand the differences 
in the brothers' situation since Vatican II. In particular, we must further 
clarify the nature of the complementary equality that had emerged as a 
concern by the 1960s. In this last section I hope to contribute to that task, 
keeping in mind that a definitive analysis would be premature. Con- 
sequently, I limit myself to some touchstones that strike me as plausible 
points of departure. I start with one of the greatest interpreters of the Je- 
suit char ism today, Pedro Arrupe. 

1. In a 1978 talk, Father Arrupe expressed concern about the "ex- 
tinction" of the Jesuit brother. He maintained that the brothers' contri- 
bution, "both to community life and that of the apostolate, is irreplace- 
able"; consequently, the "extinction of this grade of Brothers would 
be a great loss, a mutilation with grave consequences for the body of 
the Society and for its apostolate." 78 What is that irreplaceable contri- 
bution? Arrupe focused on the brothers' importance for the "apostolic 
community of the Society," distinguishing three specific contributions 

77 As George Ganss remarked in 1981, the brother's vocation "cannot be treated 
conclusively in any one paper, book, or year"; rather "discussion for decades will prob- 
ably be necessary" Ganss, "Understanding," 2; see also pp. 1-3); Father Kolvenbach re- 
affirms the need for this provisional attitude in his 1997 interview with Jackson (see n. 

78 Arrupe, "Contribution of the Brother," 281. 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 29 

that correspond to three dimensions of Jesuit life: koinonia, diaconia, and 
kerigma — that is, the contributions brothers make to a stable and loving 
community life, their readiness for gratuitous service of the community, 
and their witnessing to the community, above all by example. 7 As the 
examples of brothers like Patrick Hagerty, George Bender, and Phil Ma- 
lone demonstrate, the brother's capacity for making such contributions 
transcends the particular kinds of work assigned to them. 

Father Arrupe then added, "We are talking about dimensions for 
which every Jesuit is responsible/' 80 If that is so, then in what sense do 
brothers make a "specific" contribution? No doubt brothers enrich Je- 
suit life along these three dimensions, perhaps in an exemplary manner. 
But must not an understanding of the brother's vocation also identify 
a distinct positive contribution to the Jesuit life and mission? As com- 
munities become smaller and more and more brothers work in outside 
apostolates that are as demanding on time as the work of priests, it be- 
comes increasingly important that every member contributes along all 
three dimensions. Valuable as Father Arrupe' s remarks are, more must 
be said about the distinctive character of the brother's vocation. Other- 
wise the idea of the complementary equality of brothers and priests re- 
mains unconvincing. Nor need we worry too much about the brothers' 

2. It once was more straightforward to explain that distinctiveness. 
When Meier and LaFarge reflected on the brother's role before Vatican 
Council II, the traditional rationale for Jesuit brothers still had some 
plausibility, its oversimplifications notwithstanding: the rural novitiates, 
mission schools, and other institutional works of the Society had need 
of support personnel (not to mention cheap labor), just as Ignatius had 
found out by 1550. The value of the brother's vocation thus had a firm 
pragmatic basis. In fact, the reason for the Jesuit priesthood, as for Ig- 
natius' s own path to ordination, was likewise pragmatic: to accomplish 
his aims in the sixteenth-century Church, ordination was all but man- 
datory. That is, his original desire to "help souls" through conversation 
and instruction in the Christian life led him into territory then reserved 
for priests, as Ignatius found out through his run-ins with Church au- 
thorities while still a layman. To be sure, the sacramental ministries of 
the priest immediately entered into the Formula as one of the core aims 
of the young Society. 

79 Ibid., 282-5. 
8o Ibid., 286. 

30 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 

ij.v ;. sssioS mi^^::" s::! :.■; ;■,« S;Ki-sB^S:M'.f 

The traditional rationale for brothers broke down with the general 
improvement in lay education, the expansion of lay roles in the life of the 
Church after Vatican II, and the end of Jesuit farms and vineyards. The 
changed situation has affected brothers more than priests, who still have 
a clear role in serving the sacramental aims of the Society. The brothers 
no longer seem to have a clear function in the economy of the Society: the 
blue-collar tasks from which brothers once freed Jesuit priests have either 
disappeared altogether or are now in the hands of laymen, whereas all 
the new activities open to brothers, as well as their traditional white-col- 
lar roles, are carried out by priests as well. The upshot is a gradual erosion 
of the lived practices that grounded pre- Vatican II statements regarding 
the "complementary roles" of priests and brothers. Those practices once 
gave complementarity (if not always equality) a clear sense: the craft la- 
bor of brothers was both necessary and distinctive of their vocation, and 
it clearly complemented the work of priests. Lacking such practices and 

practical needs of Jesuit life, 
^^^^^^~"^^~^^^^^^^— ~ — complementarity has become 
Even after ordination we continue problematic. Meanwhile, the 
to address one another as greater opportunity for mar- 

"brothers." This mode of address ried laypersons in ministerial 

reflects the fact that all Jesuits roles that were once reserved 

commit themselves to live in a largely to priests and religious 

community of equals, as "friends has undercut the distinctive 

in the Lord" who remain brothers character of the brother's vo- 
to one another. cation from the other direction. 

At least in part, the decline in 

the percentage of brothers in 
the United States is the result of 
this two-sided loss of distinctiveness at the level of lived practice: today, 
the brother's role differs from the priest's merely by its lack of sacramen- 
tal (and jurisdictional) power, and his distinctive labors have lost their 
monastic patina and have been taken up by lay employees. Consequent- 
ly, any viable interpretation of the brother's vocation, if it is not to hang 
in midair, must confront this new reality. To do so, it must begin with the 
brother's lack of sacramental power and then find the distinctive positive 
contribution that lack conceals. 

3. In working out such an interpretation, one must avoid a potential 
pitfall. Both in its documents and history, the Society has understood 
itself as a sacerdotal order. This point has been forcefully invoked by 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 31 

popes to resist Jesuit desires to abolish grades in the Society. Given that 
the Society understands itself as essentially sacerdotal, and that broth- 
ers are not priests in the sacramental sense, does it follow that brothers 
are necessarily second-class citizens? Not if the "sacerdotal character 
of the Society" refers to a property of the Society as a corporate body 
rather than to a claim about every member of that body In fact, when 
he affirmed the Society's priestly character as "essential," Pope Paul 
VI carefully referred to the order and not to every member; in doing 
so, he linked the sacerdotal character of the Society with its apostolic 
charism. 82 To be apostolic in the full sense — that is, to do what the first 
apostles did — the Society must bring the Word and sacraments to those 
to whom they are sent. 

But sacramental ministry does not exhaust the Society's under- 
standing of its apostolic charism: non-sacramental activities are like- 
wise "essential," written into both the founding documents and histo- 
ry of the order. 83 The Formula includes not only sacramental work and 
preaching among the Society's tasks, but also religious education and 
corporal works of mercy. This is reiterated in Ignatius' s guidelines in 
the Constitutions regarding preferred ministries, which include "under- 
takings . . . directed toward benefits for the body through the practice of 
mercy and charity." 84 And the history of Jesuit endeavors testifies to the 
wide range of temporal activities undertaken by its members, priests 
and brothers, over the centuries: work in education, the arts and scienc- 
es, medicine, law, social outreach, and so on. 

Indeed, as far as apostolic importance goes, in many areas of en- 
deavor the sacramental activities have little place, either because the 
needs are first of all "bodily" and temporal, or because the clientele is 
non-Christian or even hostile to the Church. In such areas, the "more uni- 

8l The traditional understanding of ecclesiastical jurisdiction provides a further, 
and perhaps more important, reason for papal resistance to the abolition of grades; on 
the recent history, see Jackson, "One and the Same Vocation/' 13-17; also John Padberg, 
S.J., "The Society True to Itself: A Brief History of the 32nd General Congregation of the 
Society of Jesus," Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 15, nos. 3-4 (May-September 1983). 

82 Pope Paul VI, "Address to the Members of the 32nd General Congregation," 
December 3, 1974, in Documents of the 31st and 32nd General Congregations, 525-6. 

83 On the importance of the Society's history for understanding its charism, see 
John W. O'Malley S.J., "Five Missions of the Jesuit Charism," Studies in the Spirituality of 
Jesuits 38, no. 4 (Winter 2006). 

84 Constitutions, [623b]. 

32 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 

versal good" — Ignatius 7 s first criterion for preference of ministries 85 — is 
achieved precisely through non-sacramental forms of engagement. 

4. The previous point suggests we think of the Society's priestly 
character as pertaining first of all to the order as a whole, as charac- 
teristic of its mission to the world. The example of brothers like Pat- 
rick Hagerty, however, suggests a move to the individual level: that we 
might think of brothers as exercising a priestly ministry — not only as 
members who support a corporate sacerdotal mission, but precisely in 
the way that they themselves, as individual brothers, bring Christ to the 
world and the world to Christ. 

Graham Wilson's reflection on the brother's vocation gives this 
line of thought a further interesting twist. Wilson reiterates that all Je- 
suits, both brothers and priests, share in the Society's "single funda- 
mental charism — availability for universal mission." In order to serve 
that universal (apostolic) mission, it is necessary that some Jesuits be 
ordained and others, non-ordained. But Wilson takes a further step: as 
religious, Jesuit priests "share in the brotherhood that is the Society." 8/ 
This suggests a way of understanding the equality of Jesuit priests and 
brothers, with respect to both identity and mission. 

On the one hand, we can say that as religious, all Jesuits, priests in- 
cluded, are brothers. Indeed, most Jesuits spend a decade, give or take, 
as non-ordained religious, and even after ordination we continue to ad- 
dress one another as "brothers." This mode of address reflects the fact 
that all Jesuits commit themselves to live in a community of equals, as 
"friends in the Lord" who remain brothers to one another. Here then, 
we find equality in our identity as religious. On the other hand, as avail- 
able for the Society's universal, apostolic mission, all Jesuits, brothers in- 
cluded, are priests — in a specifically Jesuit sense of the term, which dis- 
tinguishes the priesthood of Jesuits from that of laymen, yet transcends 
the differences between Jesuit priests and brothers at the level of sacra- 
mental ministry. This follows simply from the statements we have seen 
above: If brothers and priests both share fully in the apostolic charism of 
the Society (as affirmed by GC 31), and if that charism defines the sacer- 
dotal character of the Society (as Pope Paul VI held), then we must re- 
gard the apostolic work of brothers as a priestly work. Conversely, we 

85 Ibid., [622a]. 

86 Wilson, Jesuit Identity, 83. 


Ibid., 81. 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 33 

must understand ordained Jesuit ministry as primarily apostolic, in a 
sense that contrasts with diocesan priesthood. More on that below. 

The developments on the side of mission represent a significant 
evolution in the understanding of the brother's vocation. In linking 
that vocation with availability for the Society's apostolic mission, recent 
congregations have dissolved the pre- Vatican II categories that aligned 
priests with public ministry and brothers with background support roles: 
the brother's vocation is now directly apostolic and public. The practice 
of the American brothers has followed suit, as documented above. At 
the same time, the historical overview reveals that the directly apostolic 
character of the brother's vocation was present implicitly all along, both 
in theory — recall Ignatius' s expectation that all Jesuits would engage in 
spiritual conversation — and 
in the exemplary practice of 

brothers like Alphonsus Ro- If brothers and priests both share 

driguez and Patrick Hagerty. fully in the apostolic charism of 

5. Still, the question of the Society, and if that charism 

complementarity remains. As d f nes the sacerdotal character of 
a corporate body, the Society ** Society), then we must regard 

is, at its core and precisely as the "V<>stolic work of brothers as a 
sacerdotal, committed to both priestly work. 

sacramental and non-sacra- ^ -^-— — — ^^— 
mental ministries. As sharing 

in the Society's apostolic mission, priests as well as brothers have al- 
ways engaged in non-sacramental temporal works, bringing what we 
might call their "lay talents" to the service of the Society's mission to the 
world. But today the distribution in work has crucially shifted, at least 
in developed countries like the United States, such that the brothers can 
no longer claim the old-style craft labors as their distinctive contribution 
to Jesuit life. In practice, complementarity has passed over to the Soci- 
ety's "partners," who now fill the shoes of the old-style brothers and 
are officially recognized as co-workers, partners in the apostolic mis- 
sion of the Society. Thus the question becomes acute: how do brothers 

88 "Apostolic partners" is the current term used in the United States for the many 
non-Jesuits — lay, religious, ordained, Christian and non-Christian — who support the 
Society's mission in one way or another; see Provincials of the United States Assistancy, 
Assistance Strategic Discernment: Decisions and Commitments of the United States Provin- 
cials (Washington, D.C.: Jesuit Conference, Society of Jesus in the United States, 2008), 
27. For official recognition of lay "collaboration," see Documents of the Thirty-Fourth Gen- 
eral Congregation of the Society of Jesus (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1995), Decree 

34 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 

complement priests? If one cannot say, then suspicion of the brother's 
second-class status returns. Granted that both sacramental and non-sac- 
ramental works are essential, the Jesuit priest, but not the Jesuit brother, 
is available for both. This difference could suggest that the priest is, in a 
practical sense, "more" of a Jesuit, official protestations to the contrary 
notwithstanding. Moreover, if non-ordained laity can fill the brothers' 
shoes without pinching, then are brothers so "irreplaceable," as Father 
Arrupe maintained? 

The issue here is not one of whose work counts for more. Rather, it 

regards the practical attractiveness of the brother's vocation for men who 

want to make themselves entirely available to the service of Christ. If 

we assume such generosity on the part of men entering the Society, why 

would they "stop short" with brotherhood, if by becoming priests they 

are more available to Christ and the Society? Otherwise, why not give 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^_ ^^^^^ their lay talents to the service 

„ . , i j.1 i j.i j. of Christ as non-religious lay- 

Prectsely because the brother opts ~ ° J 

men • 
out of clerical status, he remains 

on a par with his lay colleagues, Here too we can 

even as his vows bind him to his see an evolution in the Soci- 

ordained brothers in religious ety's self-understanding. At 

community. tne Society's inception, Igna- 

tius could indeed say that the 
professed fathers constituted 
the Society in the "most pre- 
cise sense." 89 But the statements of Meier and LaFarge imply that this 
view was on the way out by 1960. GC 31 and the Brothers' Congress 
in 1970 officially rejected it. Nonetheless, as I noted earlier, claims of a 
complementary equality have little meaning if we cannot identify the 
positive complementarity the brother supplies in practice — why men 
with all the smarts to become priests can be just as generous, as broth- 
ers, in the Society's service to the Church — in a way that also comple- 
ments the role of non-ordained partners. 

Because the question here regards the brothers' complementary 
availability for the Society's apostolic mission, it does not suffice to say 
the brother shares in the priesthood of the Society. To get at the practi- 

13; also The Decrees of General Congregation 35 (Washington, D.C.: Jesuit Conference, So- 
ciety of Jesus in the United States, 2008), Decree 6. 

89 Quoted from Ganss, "Understanding," 10. 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation * 35 

cal meaning of the complementary equality of priests and brothers, we 
must say more. We must identify the brother's distinctive contribution 
that complements that of the priest precisely because it supplies some- 
thing the priest cannot. 

6. In addressing this question, there are two fairly solid starting 
points, both of which were on the table before Vatican Council II. First, 
the presence of brothers in the Society anchors the order in the Church's 
religious tradition, which began primarily as a lay movement. LaFarge 
makes this point, and Father Kolvenbach develops it: "In some ways the 
religious brother embodies religious life in its essence, and so is able to 
illustrate that life with particular clarity." The Jesuit brother, in other 
words, witnesses to the value of the Jesuit vocation precisely as a reli- 
gious vocation, apart from any position one might have as a priest in the 
ministerial hierarchy. We have here the sought-for absence of sacramen- 
tal power that has a positive value. Just because the Jesuit brother is not 
a priest, just because he opts out of the clerical power structure, he is in 
a position to display the value of religious life as such, without admix- 
ture. Moreover, this very same commitment to the religious life also dis- 
tinguishes his vocation from other lay states of life. 

The second point concerns the lay aspect of the brother's voca- 
tion. Though LaFarge associates the brother with labor, the connection 
he sees between brothers and laymen applies to any non-sacramen- 
tal work. The brother's "practical view of the dignity of labor, though 
based on the concept of the supernatural mission of the Son of Man, of- 
fers nevertheless a wonderful contribution towards bridging the dis- 
tance that sometimes seems to separate the priest from the layman." 91 
The NJBC Statement on the Brother echoes LaFarge' s sentiment: "The 
brother is in fact a valuable bridge for the Church as both lay person and 

T • //92 


Putting these two ideas together, we might see a positive attrac- 
tion to the Jesuit brother's vocation in these distinctive characteristics. 
Like all Jesuits and unlike non-religious laymen, the brother commits 
himself completely to God as a vowed member of a religious commu- 

9 °Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Preface, Loyola Symposium on the Vocation and 
Mission of the Jesuit Brother, 1994, in CIS: Review of Ignatian Spirituality 26-1, no. 78 
(1995): 3; see also LaFarge, Report on the American Jesuits, 118. 

91 LaFarge, Report on the American Jesuits, 115. 

92 NJBC, "The Jesuit Brother," 1. 

36 # William R. Rehg, S.J. 

nity, freed from the obligations of family and self-support to serve the 
Church's apostolic mission without reservation. Unlike priests and 
like non-religious laymen, he wants to do this entirely through the gift 
of his lay talents, as someone working shoulder-to-shoulder with oth- 
er non-ordained members of his profession or trade or lay ministry, as 
someone who meets these other members eye-to-eye, equal in ecclesial 

7. To summarize, then, Jesuit brothers and priests are equals, both 
as members of a religious community and as available for the apostol- 
ic mission of the Society. But Jesuits exercise their common vocation in 
complementary ways. Precisely because the brother opts out of cleri- 
cal status, he remains on a par with his lay colleagues, even as his vows 
bind him to his ordained brothers in religious community. This position, 
I suggest, allows brothers to make a distinctive contribution to Jesuit 
life. That contribution is not only distinctive, however. It is essential, in- 
deed in a surprising way that bears on my earlier question regarding the 
brother's role in the Society's sacerdotal charism. 

As we have seen, Father Arrupe contended that the brothers play 
an "irreplaceable" role in the communal and apostolic life of the So- 
ciety. The idea of complementary equality allows us now to develop 
Father's insight: brothers play an essential role today precisely in vir- 
tue of their distinctive apostolic position as non-ordained religious. On 
the one hand, as non-ordained religious they make an invaluable con- 
tribution to the identity of the Society as a religious community. Pre- 
cisely as non-ordained, brothers remind all Jesuits of the value of the 
religious life on its own terms. Not that brothers are necessarily better 
community members than Jesuit priests. Rather, I mean that by regard- 
ing brothers as equal members of the Society, we at least tacitly affirm 
our commitment to life in religious community as a central feature of 
our identity as Jesuits. 

On the other hand, by regarding brothers as equally available for 
direct apostolic work, and thus as sharing in the priestly work of the So- 

93 In saying the religious brother (or sister) is free of the obligations of self-sup- 
port (or income), I refer to an ideal: the idea that the religious community should choose 
its works primarily according to a criterion of apostolic service rather than income. The 
reality, of course, is more complicated, and members of some communities have been 
forced to seek employment primarily to bring in income. Note also that some forms of 
the lay state might fit this ideal, e.g., the Catholic Worker Movement, a lifestyle both 
communal and poor. 

Value and Viability of a Jesuit Brother's Vocation %? 37 

■iiiiiiiii mill iMiiiiiiMiHiiiiiiiiiiimmiMwmiiiniiMiMiiM^^ ■ '^mmmmmmmammm^ . 

ciety, we say something about the specifically Jesuit character of the work 
of our ordained members. We remind ourselves that sacramental minis- 
try in the Society is primarily apostolic, oriented by the Society's evan- 
gelizing, missionary charism and its current apostolic preferences. Un- 
like the sacramental ministry of diocesan priests, which aims primarily to 
sustain the existing community of faith, the sacramental work of Jesuits 
is oriented toward an outward-looking apostolic mission, that of bring- 
ing Christ to the world through "the defense and propagation of the faith 
and for the progress of souls in Christian life and doctrine/' This apos- 
tolic orientation does not exclude parish work by Jesuits, but it does have 
implications for our acceptance of parishes and, more broadly, for our 
choice among opportunities for sacramental work in general. It is no acci- 
dent that Jesuit parishes tend to 

be located in needy areas, con- 
sistent with our apostolic com- Ultimately, however, the 
mitment to solidarity with the theological reasons are more 
l east important than the pragmatic 

T . - ;i . . ones. We will attract Jesuit 

If the above points are , ., r -r t -a x 

, t r ,., brothers only if we Jesuits treasure 

on target, then we can readily T . / / . , . T . 

& ' _ , A * our life together as apostolic 

agree with Father Arrupe: the T . . , . . .. . 

& , . . . e , , r _ , religious ana communicate its wys 
extinction of brothers would . ^ xT T . » 

,., . „ ,., .. ., to Catholic laymen. 

constitute a mutilataon with J 

grave consequences for the ~ ~ ■""" ~— — — ^ ^^^— ^^— 
body of the Society and for its 

apostolate." The reason is that the brother plays a key role in preserving 
both the religious identity of the Society and its apostolic orientation. 
More provocatively, we can say that without brothers, not only the So- 
ciety's religious identity but also the distinctively Jesuit character of its 
sacerdotal charism is in peril. 

8. The upshot, in a nutshell, is this: The attractiveness of the Jesuit 
brother's vocation rests on the apostolic value of religious life on its own 
terms, without the benefits (or burdens) of the clerical position. As then Fa- 
ther General Kolvenbach put it in a 1997 interview with Charles Jackson, 

94 Formula, [3]; for a historical argument supporting this point, see William Harm- 
less, S.J., "Jesuits as Priests: Crisis and Charism," Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 19, 
no. 3 (May 1987); Harmless emphasizes the apostolic character of Jesuit priesthood, ori- 
ented primarily to ministries of the word — which includes the brothers' practice of spir- 
itual conversation. See also O'Malley, First Jesuits, chaps. 3-4. 1 thank Kevin Burke, S.J., 
for the idea of the brothers' role in sustaining the identity of the Jesuit priest. 

38 * William R. Rehg, S.J. 

the brother's vocation "needs nothing else — nothing is lacking. It is really a 
full vocation and a full mission." 95 The happy Jesuit brothers I have known, 
young and old, bear this statement out: they find their vocation complete. 
As one brother explained to me why he chose to become a brother: he found 
that "it just fit." These men testify to the value and viability of religious life 

However, in that same interview, Kolvenbach warned that we should 
not expect many brothers' vocations precisely for that reason, that is, be- 
cause the attractiveness of that vocation depends so heavily on the intrinsic 
value of religious life, hardly a high-demand market in today's consumer- 
and pleasure-oriented American society. The freedom to live out that value 
distinguishes the vocation of the religious brother from the other lay states 
of life. However, for most young Catholic men, the brother's vocation still 
lacks the visibility of the priest's. 

This is unfortunate, for the apostolic mission of the Society of Jesus 
needs brothers as much as ever. Given the pluralistic character of the con- 
temporary United States and the secular tendencies in many areas of en- 
deavor, there is certainly a need for Jesuits, priests and brothers, who can 
engage the world through their lay talents — in science, education, admin- 
istration, areas of health care, and so on. Given the increasing profession- 
al demands in such areas of engagement, there is a need for Jesuits whose 
full mission has them devote all their energies to the requirements of such 
non-sacramental apostolates. Thus the need for brothers in the Society of 
Jesus continues, not only for theological reasons connected with the Jesuit 
charism, but also for very pragmatic reasons, just as in 1550. 

Ultimately, however, the theological reasons are more important than 
the pragmatic ones. We will attract Jesuit brothers only if we Jesuits trea- 
sure our life together as apostolic religious and communicate its joys to 
Catholic laymen. The stakes are high, for nothing less than the Society's 
charism is at stake. The young brothers in formation today, though few, are 
a sign of hope for the whole Society. 

NJBC file (see n. 69). 

Letter to the Editor 


I am very grateful for Wilkie Au's 
most recent essay on "Ignatian Ser- 
vice: Gratitude and Love in Action/' 
It is a masterpiece, very timely chal- 
lenging, and inspiring. He expresses 
very well the subtle, nuanced Ignatian 
ideal. I want to underscore two of his 
points that seem especially relevant at 
this time. 

First, Ignatian mysticism of service 
continues to stretch and invite anyone 
seriously called to Ignatian spirituality. 
It is an ideal that is always susceptible 
to compromise in reducing that ideal 
to doing more and more work. Whereas 
mysticism of service is concerned with 
something much more subtle, inspiring 
and challenging: the quality of religious 
experience in our hearts while we are 
working. A quantity of more and more 
work is always easier than the careful 
concern for and cooperation with the 
Holy Spirit in the religious quality of 
our working hearts. However tempt- 
ing the contemporary compromises 
are, Ignatius 7 s ideal stands clear in the 
mysticism expressed in the very gram- 
mar of the grace of the Contemplatio 
(#233): The direct object of our service 
is the Divine Majesty. 

Second, as Wilkie shows, the appro- 
priate understanding and translation 
of Ignatius' s favorite word magis (mas) 
can protect us from the dangerous 
compromise to which I have referred 
above. In this light, I have come to pre- 
fer the English translation for magis as 
"especially" This is a legitimate trans- 
lation for the Latin word. In this un- 
derstanding we are always serving in 
what is especially our unique call and 
role. This call and election, as the Exer- 
cises refers to it (#169-88), is revealed 
to each one of us in our contemplation 
of the Risen Jesus through the Second, 
Third, and Fourth Weeks. Also in the 
Foundation (#23), the better transla- 
tion might be "which is 'especially 
and uniquely conducive' to the end for 
which we are being created." 

Much gratitude to Wilkie for his 
loving, clear, and challenging remind- 
er of inspired Ignatian service at a time 
when the impulse to more and more 
work insidiously surrounds us in our 
culture and in our Church. 

George Aschenbrenner, SJ 

Office of the Rector 
University of Scranton 
Scranton, PA, 18510-4623 


Past Issues of Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 

Available for Sale 

(For prices, see inside back cover.) 

1/1 Sheets, Profile of the Contemporary Jesuit (Sept. 1969) 

1/2 Ganss, Authentic Spiritual Exercises: History and Terminology (Nov. 1969) 

2/1 Burke, Institution and Person (Feb. 1970) 

2/2 Futrell, Ignatian Discernment (Apr. 1970) 

2/3 Lonergan, Response of the Jesuit as Priest and Apostle (Sept. 1970) 

3/1 Wright, Grace of Our Founder and the Grace of Our Vocation (Feb. 1971) 

3/2 O'Flaherty, Some Reflections on Jesuit Commitment (Apr. 1971) 

3/4 Toner, A Method for Communal Discernment of God's Will (Sept. 1971) 

3/5 Sheets, Toward a Theology of the Religious Life (Nov. 1971) 

4/2 Two Discussions: I. Spiritual Direction, II. Leadership and Authority (Mar. 1972) 

4/3 Orsy, Some Questions about the Purpose and Scope of the General Congregation 

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4/4 Ganss, Wright, O'Malley, O'Donovan, Dulles, On Continuity and Change: A 
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5/3 Arrupe, McNaspy, The Place of Art in Jesuit Life (Apr. 1973) 
5/4 Haughey, The Pentecostal Thing and Jesuits (June 1973) 
5/5 Orsy, Toward a Theological Evaluation of Communal Discernment (Oct. 1973) 
6/3 Knight, Joy and Judgment in Religious Obedience (Apr. 1974) 
7/1 Wright, Ganss, Orsy, On Thinking with the Church Today (Jan. 1975) 
7/2 Ganss, Christian Life Communities from the Sodalities (Mar. 1975) 
7/3 Connolly, Contemporary Spiritual Direction: Scope and Principles (June 1975) 
7/5 Buckley, The Confirmation of a Promise; Padberg, Continuity and Change in Gen- 
eral Congregation XXXII (Nov. 1975) 
8/1 O'Neill, Acatamiento: Ignatian Reverence (Jan. 1976) 
8/2-3 De la Costa, Sheridan, and others, On Becoming Poor: A Symposium on Evan- 
gelical Poverty (Mar-May 1976) 
8/4 Faricy, Jesuit Community: Community of Prayer (Oct. 1976) 
9/1-2 Becker, Changes in U.S. Jesuit Membership, 1958-75; Others, Reactions and Ex- 
planations (Jan.-Mar. 1977) 
9/4 Connolly, Land, Jesuit Spiritualities and the Struggle for Social Justice (Sept. 

9/5 Gill, A Jesuit's Account of Conscience (Nov. 1977) 

10/1 Kammer, "Burn-Out" —Dilemma for the Jesuit Social Activist (Jan. 1978) 
10/4 Harvanek, Status of Obedience in the Society of Jesus; Others, Reactions to Con- 
nolly-Land (Sept. 1978) 
11/1 Clancy, Feeling Bad about Feeling Good (Jan. 1979) 
11/2 Maruca, Our Personal Witness as Power to Evangelize Culture (Mar. 1979) 
11/3 Klein, American Jesuits and the Liturgy (May 1979) 
11/5 Conwell, The Kamikaze Factor: Choosing Jesuit Ministries (Nov. 1979) 
12/2 Henriot, Appleyard, Klein, Living Together in Mission: A Symposium on Small 

Apostolic Communities (Mar. 1980) 
12/3 Conwell, Living and Dying in the Society of Jesus (May 1980) 
13/1 Peter, Alcoholism in Jesuit Life (Jan. 1981) 

13/3 Ganss, Towards Understanding the Jesuit Brothers' Vocation (May 1981) 
13/4 Reites, St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jews (Sept. 1981) 
14/1 O'Malley, The Jesuits, St. Ignatius, and the Counter Reformation (Jan. 1982) 
14/2 Dulles, St. Ignatius and Jesuit Theological Tradition (Mar. 1982) 
14/4 Gray, An Experience in Ignatian Government (Sept. 1982) 
14/5 Ivern, The Future of Faith and Justice: Review of Decree Four (Nov. 1982) 
15/1 O'Malley, The Fourth Vow in Its Ignatian Context (Jan. 1983) 
15/2 Sullivan and Faricy, On Making the Spiritual Exercises for Renewal of Jesuit 
Char isms (Mar. 1983) 
15/3-4 Padberg, The Society True to Itself: A Brief History of the 32nd General Congrega- 
tion of the Society of Jesus (May-Sept. 1983) 
15/5-16/1 Tetlow, Jesuits' Mission in Higher Education (Nov. 1983-Jan. 1984) 

16/2 O'Malley, To Travel to Any Part of the World: Jeronimo Nadal and the Jesuit Voca- 
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16/3 O'Hanlon, Integration of Christian Practices: A Western Christian Looks East 

(May 1984) 
16/4 Carlson, "A Faith Lived Out of Doors": Ongoing Formation (Sept. 1984) 
17/ 1 Spohn, St. Paul on Apostolic Celibacy and the Body of Christ (Jan. 1985) 
17/2 Daley, "In Ten Thousand Places": Christian Universality and the Jesuit Mission 

(Mar. 1985) 
17/3 Tetlow, Dialogue on the Sexual Maturing of Celibates (May 1985) 
17/4 Spohn, Coleman, Clarke, Henriot, Jesuits and Peacemaking (Sept. 1985) 
17/5 Kinerk, When Jesuits Pray: A Perspective on the Prayer of Apostolic Persons (Nov. 

18/1 Gelpi, The Converting Jesuit (Jan. 1986). 

18/2 Beirne, Compass and Catalyst: The Ministry of Administration (Mar. 1986) 
18/3 McCormick, Bishops as Teachers and Jesuits as Listeners (May 1986) 
18/5 Tetlow, The Transformation of Jesuit Poverty (Nov. 1986). 
19/1 Staudenmaier, United States Technology and Adult Commitment (Jan. 1987) 
19/2 Appleyard, Languages We Use: Talking about Religious Experience (Mar. 1987) 
19/5 Endean, Who Do You Say Ignatius Is? Jesuit Fundamentalism and Beyond (Nov. 

20/1 Brackley, Downward Mobility: Social Implications of St. Ignatius 's Two Standards 

Qan. 1988) 
20 / 2 Padberg, How We Live Where We Live (Mar. 1988) 

20/3 Hayes, Padberg, Staudenmaier, Symbols, Devotions, and Jesuits (May 1988) 
20/4 McGovern, Jesuit Education and Jesuit Spirituality (Sept. 1988) 
20/5 Barry, Jesuit Formation Today: An Invitation to Dialogue and Involvement (Nov. 

21/1 Wilson, Where Do We Belong? United States Jesuits and Their Memberships (Jan. 

21/2 Demoustier, Calvez, et al., The Disturbing Subject: The Option for the Poor 

(Mar. 1989) 
21/3 Soukup, Jesuit Response to the Communication Revolution (May 1989) 
22/1 Carroll, The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (Jan. 1990) 
22/2 Bracken, Jesuit Spirituality from a Process Prospective (March 1990) 
22/3 Shepherd, Fire for a Weekend: An Experience of the Exercises (May 1990) 
22/4 O'Sullivan, Trust Your Feelings, but Use Your Head (Sept. 1990) 
22/5 Coleman, A Company of Critics: Jesuits and the Intellectual Life (Nov. 1990) 
23/1 Houdek, The Road Too Often Traveled (Jan. 1991) 
23/3 Begheyn and Bogart, A Bibliography on St. Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises 

(May 1991) 

Shelton, Reflections on the Mental Health of Jesuits (Sept. 1991) 

Toolan, "Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire" (Nov. 1991) 

Houdek, Jesuit Prayer and Jesuit Ministry: Context and Possibilities (Jan. 1992) 

Smolich, Testing the Water: Jesuits Accompanying the Poor (March 1992) 

Hassel, Jesus Christ Changing Yesterday, Today, and Forever (May 1992) 

Shelton, Toward Healthy Jesuit Community Living (Sept. 1992) 

Cook, Jesus' Parables and the Faith That Does Justice (Nov. 1992) 

Padberg, Ignatius, the Popes, and Realistic Reverence (May 1993) 

Stahel, Toward General Congregation 34 (Sept. 1993) 

Baldovin, Christian Liturgy: An Annotated Bibliography (Nov. 1993) 

Murphy, The Many Ways of Justice (March 1994) 

Staudenmaier, To Fall in Love with the World (May 1994) 

Landy, Myths That Shape Us (Nov. 1994) 

Daley, "To Be More like Christ" (Jan. 1995) 

Schmidt, Portraits and Landscapes (March 1995) 

Stockhausen, I'd Love to, but I Don't Have the Time (May 1995) 

Anderson, Jesuits in Jail, Ignatius to the Present (Sept. 1995) 

Shelton, Friendship in Jesuit Life (Nov. 1995) 

Begheyn, Bibliography on the History of the Jesuits (Jan. 1996) 

Clooney, In Ten Thousand Places, in Every Blade of Grass (May 1996) 

Starkloff, "As Different As Night and Day" (Sept. 1996) 

Beckett, Listening to Our History (Nov. 1996) 

Hamm, Preaching Biblical Justice (Jan. 1997) 

Padberg, The Three Forgotten Founders (March 1997) 

Byrne, Jesuits and Parish Ministry (May 1997) 

Keenan, Are Informationes Ethical? (Sept. 1997) 

Ferlita, The Road to Bethlehem— Is It Level or Winding? (Nov. 1997) 

Shore, The "Vita Christi" ofLudolph of Saxony and Its Influence on the "Spiritual 

Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola" (Jan. 1998) 

Starkloff, "I'm No Theologian, but . . . (or So . . . )?" (March 1998) 

Torrens, The Word That Clamors (May 1998) 

Petrik, "Being Sent" (Sept. 1998) 

Jackson, "One and the Same Vocation" (Nov. 1998) 

Clifford, Scripture and the Exercises (Jan. 1999) 

Toohig, Physics Research, a Search for God (March 1999) 

Fagin, Fidelity in the Church — Then and Now (May 1999) 

Schineller, Pilgrim Journey of Ignatius (Sept. 1999) 

Fullam, Juana, S.J.: Status of Women in the Society (Nov. 1999) 

Langan, The Good of Obedience in a Culture of Autonomy (Jan. 2000) 

Blake, Listen with Your Eyes (March 2000) 

Shelton, When a Jesuit Counsels Others (May 2000) 

Barry, Past, Present, and Future (Sept. 2000) 

Starkloff, Pilgrimage Re-envisioned (Nov. 2000) 

Kolvenbach et al., Faith, Justice, and American Jesuit Higher Education (Jan. 


Keenan, Unexpected Consequences: Persons's Christian Directory (March 2001) 

Arrupe, Trinitarian Inspiration of the Ignatian Charism (May 2001) 

Veale, Saint Ignatius Asks, "Are You Sure You Know Who I Am?" (Sept. 2001) 

Barry and Keenan, How Multicultural Are We? (Nov. 2001) 

Blake, "City of the Living God" (Jan. 2002) 

Clooney, A Charism for Dialog (March 2002) 

34/3 Rehg, Christian Mindfulness (May 2002) 

34/4 Brackley, Expanding the Shrunken Soul (Sept. 2002) 

34/5 Bireley, The Jesuits and Politics in Time of War (Nov. 2002) 

35/1 Barry, Jesuit Spirituality for the Whole of Life (Jan. 2003) 

35/2 Madden /Janssens, The Training of Ours in the Sacred Liturgy (March 2003) 

35/4 Modras, A Jesuit in the Crucible (Sept. 2003) 

35/5 Lucas, Virtual Vessels, Mystical Signs (Nov. 2003) 

36/1 Rausch, Christian Life Communities for Jesuit University Students? (Spring 


36/2 Bernauer, The Holocaust and the Search for Forgiveness (Summer 2004) 

36/3 Nantais, "Whatever! " Is Not Ignatian Indifference (Fall 2004) 

36/4 Lukacs, The Incarnational Dynamic of the Constitutions (Winter 2004) 

37/ 1 Smolarski, Jesuits on the Moon (Spring 2005) 

37/2 McDonough, Clenched Fist or Open Hands? (Summer 2005) 

37/3 Torrens, Tuskegee Years (Fall 2005) 

37/4 O'Brien, Consolation in Action (Winter 2005) 

38/1 Schineller, In Their Own Words (Spring 2006) 

38/2 Jackson, "Something that happened to me at Manresa" (Summer 2006) 

38/3 Reiser, Locating the Grace of the Fourth Week (Fall 2006) 

38/4 O'Malley, Five Missions of the Jesuit Charism (Winter 2006) 

39/1 McKevitt, Italian Jesuits in Maryland (Spring 2007) 

39/2 Kelly, Loved into Freedom and Service (Summer 2007 

39/3 Kennedy, Music and the Jesuit Mission (Autumn 2007) 

39/4 Creed, Jesuits and the Homeless (Winter 2007) 

40/1 Giard, The Jesuit College (Spring 2008) 

40/2 Au, Ignatian Service (Summer 2008) 

40/3 Kaslyn, Jesuit Ministry of Publishing (Autumn 2008) 

40/4 Rehg, Value and Viability of the Jesuit Brothers' Vocation (Winter 2008) 



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